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J Bacteriol. 1984 Feb;157(2):507-13.

Production and release of peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acid polymers in pneumococci treated with beta-lactam antibiotics.


Autolysin-defective pneumococci treated with inhibitory concentrations of penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics continued to produce non-cross-linked peptidoglycan and cell wall teichoic acid polymers, the majority of which were released into the surrounding medium. The released cell wall polymers were those synthesized by the pneumococci after the addition of the antibiotics. The peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acid chains released were not linked to one another; they could be separated by affinity chromatography on an agarose-linked phosphorylcholine-specific myeloma protein column. Omission of choline, a nutritional requirement and component of the pneumococcal teichoic acid, from the medium inhibited both teichoic acid and peptidoglycan synthesis and release. These observations are discussed in terms of plausible mechanisms for the coordination between the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan and cell wall teichoic acids.

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