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Biochem J. 1972 Mar;127(1):11-25.

The mechanism of wall synthesis in bacteria. The organization of enzymes and isoprenoid phosphates in the membrane.

Abstract

1. The synthesis of peptidoglycan and teichoic acids by cell-free preparations from Bacillus licheniformis A.T.C.C. 9945 and Bacillus subtilis N.C.T.C. 3610 has been studied under a variety of conditions. 2. It was shown that poly(glycerol phosphate) is synthesized through a lipid intermediate, and it is concluded from this and other work that all major bacterial wall polymers are formed in a similar manner through such intermediates. 3. Close interrelation between the synthesis of peptidoglycan and teichoic acids was demonstrated, and inhibition studies confirm that the polyprenol phosphate molecules participating in the synthesis of peptidoglycan are shared with the systems that synthesize teichoic acids. 4. Nucleotides for the synthesis of one polymer are inhibitory towards synthesis of the other, and these effects can be enhanced or diminished by preincubation of the enzyme system with appropriate nucleotide precursors. 5. It is concluded that the return of undecaprenol phosphate to a common pool occurs only after the completion of polymer chains, and not after each cycle in the attachment of individual repeating units. This and other observations support a model for bacterial wall synthesis in which the multi-enzyme systems for each polymer are closely aligned in the membrane, with a molecule of undecaprenol phosphate located between them in a manner that enables it to be shared. The general mechanisms of wall synthesis and its control are discussed.

PMID:
4627447
PMCID:
PMC1178555
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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