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J Bacteriol. 1988 Nov;170(11):5224-8.

Peptidoglycan biosynthesis in stationary-phase cells of Escherichia coli.

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Instituto de Biologia Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.


The ability of stationary-phase cells of Escherichia coli W7 to incorporate radioactive precursors into macromolecular murein has been studied. During the initial 6 h of the stationary phase, resting cells incorporated meso-[3H]diaminopimelic acid at a rate corresponding to the insertion of 1.3 X 10(4) disaccharide units min-1 cell-1. Afterwards, the rate of incorporation dropped drastically (90%) to a low but still detectable level. Incorporation during stationary phase did not result in an increased amount of total murein in the culture, suggesting that it was related to a turnover process. Analysis of the effects of a number of beta-lactam antibiotics indicated that incorporation of murein precursors in stationary-phase cells was mediated by penicillin-binding proteins, suggesting that the activity of penicillin-binding protein 2 was particularly relevant to this process.

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