What the papers say
Bacterial L-forms require peptidoglycan synthesis for cell division
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 29, Issue 12, pages 1189–1191, December 2007
How to Cite
Casadesús, J. (2007), Bacterial L-forms require peptidoglycan synthesis for cell division. Bioessays, 29: 1189–1191. doi: 10.1002/bies.20680
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2007
Cell-wall-less bacterial variants, or L-forms, have been described in many bacterial species under laboratory conditions, in infected eukaryotic cell cultures and inside animals. Of special interest for human health is the formation of L-forms as a consequence of specific antibiotic treatments, and the potential involvement of L-forms in persistent and relapsing infections. An old enigma about L-forms is how they can divide in the absence of cell wall synthesis, since septum formation is an essential requisite for cell division. However, the classical definition of L-forms as cell-wall-less bacterial variants may need a revision to accomodate recent observations by Richard d'Ari and coworkers:1 genetic and biochemical evidence indicates that E. coli L-forms induced by β-lactam antibiotics do contain small amounts of peptidoglycan, essential for their growth and probably required for septum formation. If these observations are extrapolated to all known L-forms, the very concept of cell-wall-less bacteria may need revision, and be restricted to mycoplasmas and their relatives. BioEssays 29:1189–1191, 2007. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.