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Functional conservation of the lipid II biosynthesis pathway in the cell wall-less bacteria chlamydia and wolbachia: Why is lipid II needed?

Henrichfreise, B., Schiefer, A., Schneider, T., Nzukou, E., Poellinger, C., Hoffmann, T. J., Johnston, Kelly, Moelleken, K., Wiedemann, L., Pfarr, K., Hoerauf, A. and Sahl, H. G. (2009) 'Functional conservation of the lipid II biosynthesis pathway in the cell wall-less bacteria chlamydia and wolbachia: Why is lipid II needed?'. Molecular Microbiology, Vol 73, Issue 5, pp. 913-923.

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Cell division and cell wall biosynthesis in prokaryotes are driven by partially overlapping multiprotein machineries whose activities are tightly controlled and co-ordinated. So far, a number of protein components have been identified and acknowledged as essential for both fundamental cellular processes. Genes for enzymes of both machineries have been found in the genomes of the cell wall-less genera Chlamydia and Wolbachia, raising questions as to the functionality of the lipid Il biosynthesis pathway and reasons for its conservation. We provide evidence on three levels that the lipid II biosynthesis pathway is indeed functional and essential in both genera: (i) fosfomycin, an inhibitor of MurA, catalysing the initial reaction in lipid II biosynthesis, has a detrimental effect on growth of Wolbachia cells; (ii) isolated cytoplasmic membranes from Wolbachia synthesize lipid II ex vivo; and (iii) recombinant MraY and MurG from Chlamydia and Wolbachia exhibit in vitro activity, synthesizing lipid I and lipid II respectively. We discuss the hypothesis that the necessity for maintaining lipid II biosynthesis in cell wall-lacking bacteria reflects an essential role of the precursor in © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Export Date: 24 November 2009 Source: Scopus CODEN: MOMIE doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06815.x Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Pfarr, K.; Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany; email:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wolbachia chlamydia Rickettsiaceae
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 51 Morphology and variability of microorganisms. Microbial genetics.
WC Communicable Diseases > Rickettsiaceae Infections. Chlamydiaceae Infections > WC 600 Rickettsiaceae infections. Chlamydiaceae infections. Tick-borne diseases
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2010 13:19
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 12:59


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