N. F. Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow, Russia,
N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Moscow, Russia,
Division of Molecular Infection Biology, Research Center Borstel, Germany
KEYWORDS: tertiary structure, peptidoglycan, bacterial murein, computer simulation, scaffold, cell wall
TRENDS in Microbiology, 2005, v.13(12), pp.569-574
Direct in vivo visualization, in full atomic detail, of the microbial cell wall and its stress-bearing structural architecture remains one of the prime challenges in microbiology. In the meantime, molecular modeling can provide a framework for explaining and predicting mechanisms involved in morphogenesis, bacterial cell growth and cell division, during which the wall and its major structural component – murein – have to protect the cell from osmotic pressure and multiple tensile forces. Here, we illustrate why the scaffold concept of murein architecture provides a more comprehensive representation of bacterial cell wall physiology than previous models.
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