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J Biochem. 1985 Apr;97(4):1085-92.

A common linkage saccharide unit between teichoic acids and peptidoglycan in cell walls of Bacillus coagulans.

Abstract

Teichoic acid-glycopeptide complexes were isolated from lysozyme digests of the cell walls of Bacillus coagulans AHU 1631, AHU 1634, and AHU 1638, and the structure of the teichoic acid moieties and their linkage regions was studied. On treatment with hydrogen fluoride, each of the complexes gave a hexosamine-containing disaccharide, which was identified to be glucosyl(beta 1----4)N-acetylglucosamine, in addition to dephosphorylated repeating units of the teichoic acids, namely, galactosyl(alpha 1----2)glycerol and either galactosyl(alpha 1----2)[glucosyl(alpha 1----1/3)]glycerol (AHU 1638) or galactosyl(alpha 1----2)[glucosyl(beta 1----1/3)]glycerol (AHU 1631 and AHU 1634). From the results of Smith degradation, methylation analysis, and partial acid hydrolysis, the teichoic acids from these strains seem to have the same backbone chains composed of galactosyl(alpha 1----2)glycerol phosphate units joined by phosphodiester bonds at C-6 of the galactose residues. The presence of the disaccharide, glucosyl(beta 1----4)N-acetylglucosamine, in the linkage regions between teichoic acids and peptidoglycan was confirmed by the isolation of a disaccharide-linked glycopeptide fragment from each complex after treatment with mild alkali and of a teichoic acid-linked saccharide from each cell wall preparation after treatment with mild acid. Thus, it is concluded that despite structural differences in the glycosidic branches, the teichoic acids in the cell walls of the three strains are linked to peptidoglycan through a common linkage saccharide, glucosyl (beta 1----4) N-acetylglucosamine.

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