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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Apr;24(2):263-70.

Biochemistry and molecular genetics of cell-wall lipid biosynthesis in mycobacteria.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections are the most serious infectious diseases in terms of human fatalities. The high content of unique cell-wall lipids helps these organisms to resist antimicrobial drugs and host defences. The biosynthesis of these lipids is discussed briefly. The recent advances in recombinant DNA technology have begun to help to elucidate the nature of some of the enzymes involved in this process and the genes that encode them. Gene disruption and other molecular genetic technologies are beginning to provide new approaches to test for the biological functions of these gene products and may lead to identification of new antimycobacterial drug targets.

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