Caister Academic Press

Peptidoglycan Metabolism and Fragment Production

Joseph P. Dillard
from: Pathogenic Neisseria: Genomics, Molecular Biology and Disease Intervention (Edited by: John K. Davies and Charlene M. Kahler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Peptidoglycan metabolism is involved in several processes that are crucial to the growth and lifestyle of the pathogenic Neisseria. These include: 1) cell wall growth and cell separation, 2) autolysis and release of DNA for natural transformation, 3) release of soluble peptidoglycan fragments that affect host responses and cause tissue damage. Peptidoglycan fragments shed by N. gonorrhoeae during growth cause the death of ciliated cells in human Fallopian tubes and likely contribute to the inflammatory response to gonococci generally. Gonococci and meningococci have in common almost all of the enzymes and additional factors involved in peptidoglycan breakdown, recycling, and peptidoglycan fragment transport, and meningococci also release soluble peptidoglycan fragments. This review describes the genetic, biochemical, and infection studies that have led to our understanding of the structure of gonococcal and meningococcal peptidoglycan, its breakdown, and its effects on the human host read more ...
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