Caister Academic Press

Mycobacterial Cell Wall Arabinogalactan: A Detailed Perspective on Structure, Biosynthesis, Functions and Drug Targeting

Suresh Bhamidi, Michael S. Scherman and Michael R. McNeil
from: Bacterial Polysaccharides: Current Innovations and Future Trends (Edited by: Matthias Ullrich). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Mycobacteria have an intricate cell wall core structure consisting of a hydrophobic mycolate layer and a peptidoglycan layer tethered together by a polysaccharide, arabinogalactan. The biosynthetic pathways of all the three major cell wall core components have been studied in great deal for their role as potential drug targets for tuberculosis. This chapter specifically deals with the structural details of the arabinogalactan and its biosynthetic pathways, starting from the precursors to its polymerization, and subsequent attachment to peptidoglycan and the mycolic acids. Further, various aspects of drug targeting are discussed in detail for each of these enzymes. The available enzyme assays and the difficulties associated with others will be discussed. Finally, future aspects of tuberculosis research with respect to the arabinogalactan will be presented read more ...
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