Structure and Function of Bacterial Cells

. Firmicutes (Gram-positive) cells have a thick cell wall with multiple layers of peptidoglycan, threaded by teichoic acids. Gram-positive envelope of (TEM). . Proteobacteria (Gram-negative) cells have a single layer of peptidoglycan covered by an outer membrane; the cell membrane is called the inner membrane. Gram-negative envelope of (TEM).

Phage display-derived inhibitor of the essential cell wall biosynthesis enzyme MurF SpringerLink

A common means of resistance to antibiotics is to pump them out of the cell. A protein pump that effluxes other molecules might mutate to capture vancomycin and export it from the cell. Another possibility is that an enzyme could modify the vancomycin by adding phosphoryl groups or acetyl groups, which would prevent the antibiotic from binding the alanine dipeptide. Still another possibility is that the bacteria might evolve a thicker cell wall that would exclude the vancomycin from the inner layers of peptidoglycan.

Bacterial Endotoxin - Textbook of Bacteriology

Bacterial Virulence Factors. In experimental infections, the subcapsular surface components (i.e., the cell wall and lipopolysaccharide) of bacteria are more important determinants of meningeal inflammation than the bacterial surface components involved in CSF invasion (i.e., pili and polysaccharide capsule).

How does the cell wall attach extracellular structures? Gram-positive bacteria have a type of enzyme called “sortase” that forms a peptide bond from a cell wall cross-bridge to a protein extending from the cell. Proteins attached by sortases can help the cell acquire nutrients, or help the cell adhere to a substrate. Sortases are now used in the protein engineering industry.

Bacterial Cell Structure - More information

The functions of the S-layer are hard to study in the laboratory because the S-layer is often lost by bacteria after repeated subculturing. Traits commonly diminish in the absence of selective pressure for genes encoding them—a process called reductive evolution (discussed in ). For example, the mycoplasmas are close relatives of Gram-positive bacteria that have permanently lost their cell walls, as well as the S-layer. Mycoplasmas have no need for cell walls, because they are parasites living in host environments, such as the human lung, where they are protected from osmotic shock.

Syphilis Bacteria Diagram - More information

Great variation occurs in the composition of the sugars in the Osidechain between species and even strains of Gram-negative bacteria. Atleast20 different sugars are known to occur and many of these sugars arecharacteristicallyunique dideoxyhexoses, which occur in nature only in Gram-negative cellwalls. Variations in sugar content of the O polysaccharide contributetothe wide variety of antigenic types of and and presumably other strains of Gram-negative species. Particularsugarsin the structure, especially the terminal ones, confer immunologicalspecificityof the O antigen, in addition to "smoothness" (colony morphology) ofthestrain. Loss of the O specific region by mutation results in the strainbecoming a "rough" (colony morphology) or R strain.

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The thick mycobacterial cell wall offers physical protection comparable to the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. In mycobacteria, the peptidoglycan is linked to chains of galactose, called galactans. The galactans are attached to arabinans, polymers of the five-carbon sugar arabinose. The arabinan-galactan polymers are known as arabinogalactans. Arabinogalactan biosynthesis is inhibited by two major classes of anti-tuberculosis drugs: ethambutol and the benzothiazinones.