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Environmental roles of microbial amino acid racemases
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
2016 (English)In: Environmental Microbiology, ISSN 1462-2912, E-ISSN 1462-2920, Vol. 18, no 6, 1673-1685 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Enzymes catalysing the stereo-chemical inter-conversion of amino acids are known as amino acid racemases. In bacteria, these enzymes are fundamental to synthesize the D-Ala and D-Glu that are critical components of the peptidoglycan. In addition to this structural function in cell wall assembly, D-amino acids produced by microbial amino acid racemases have been described as relevant constituents in other prokaryotic structures (e.g. capsule, non-ribosomal peptides) and have been associated to growth fitness and to processes such as biofilm development, spore germination, and signalling. The recent discovery of broad spectrum racemases able to produce and release several D-amino acids to the environment suggests that these enzymes might have a great impact in microbial ecology. Consequently, new data on the biochemistry and regulation of racemases is key to understand the biological significance of D-enantiomers in nature, in particular their effect on microbial social networks. This review summarizes current knowledge on the environmental roles of bacterial racemases with an emphasis on the potential roles of the new broad spectrum enzymes in natural environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Vol. 18, no 6, 1673-1685 p.
Keyword [en]
racemases, bacteria, D-amino acids
National Category
Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112374DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13072PubMedID: 26419727ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84976587398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-112374DiVA: diva2:877360
Available from: 2015-12-07 Created: 2015-12-07 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Hernández, Sara BCava, Felipe
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Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine)Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS)Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)
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Environmental Microbiology
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