3 years ago

Building peptidoglycan inside eukaryotic cells: A view from symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria

Building peptidoglycan inside eukaryotic cells: A view from symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria
Francisco García‐del Portillo

The peptidoglycan (PG), as the exoskeleton of most prokaryotes, maintains a defined shape and ensures cell integrity against the high internal turgor pressure. These important roles have attracted researchers to target PG metabolism in order to control bacterial infections. Most studies, however, have been performed in bacteria grown under laboratory conditions, leading to only a partial view on how the PG is synthetized in natural environments. As a case in point, PG metabolism and its regulation remain poorly understood in symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria living inside eukaryotic cells. This review focuses on the PG metabolism of intracellular bacteria, emphasizing the necessity of more in vivo studies involving the analysis of enzymes produced in the intracellular niche and the isolation of PG from bacteria residing within eukaryotic cells. The review also points to persistent infections caused by some intracellular bacterial pathogens and the extent at which the PG could contribute to establish such physiological state. Based on recent evidences, I speculate on the idea that certain structural features of the PG may facilitate attenuation of intracellular growth. Lastly, I discuss recent findings in endosymbionts supporting a cooperation between host and bacterial enzymes to assemble a mature PG.

Open access
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