D-amino acids govern stationary phase cell wall remodeling in bacteria
2009 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 325, no 5947, 1552-1555 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In all known organisms, amino acids are predominantly thought to be synthesized and used as their L-enantiomers. Here, we found that bacteria produce diverse D-amino acids as well, which accumulate at millimolar concentrations in supernatants of stationary phase cultures. In Vibrio cholerae, a dedicated racemase produced D-Met and D-Leu, whereas Bacillus subtilis generated D-Tyr and D-Phe. These unusual D-amino acids appear to modulate synthesis of peptidoglycan, a strong and elastic polymer that serves as the stress-bearing component of the bacterial cell wall. D-Amino acids influenced peptidoglycan composition, amount, and strength, both by means of their incorporation into the polymer and by regulating enzymes that synthesize and modify it. Thus, synthesis of D-amino acids may be a common strategy for bacteria to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 325, no 5947, 1552-1555 p.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81862DOI: 10.1126/science.1178123PubMedID: 19762646Archive number: 000269887900043OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-81862DiVA: diva2:658610