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Summary

In Escherichia coli many enzymes including MurG are directly involved in the synthesis and assembly of peptidoglycan. MurG is an essential glycosyltransferase catalysing the last intracellular step of peptidoglycan synthesis. To elucidate its role during elongation and division events, localization of MurG using immunofluorescence microscopy was performed. MurG exhibited a random distribution in the cell envelope with a relatively higher intensity at the division site. This mid-cell localization was dependent on the presence of a mature divisome. Its localization in the lateral cell wall appeared to require the presence of MreCD. This could be indicative of a potential interaction between MurG and other proteins. Investigating this by immunoprecipitation revealed the association of MurG with MreB and MraY in the same protein complex. In view of this, the loss of rod shape of ΔmreBCD strain could be ascribed to the loss of MurG membrane localization. Consequently, this could prevent the localized supply of the lipid II precursor to the peptidoglycan synthesizing machinery involved in cell elongation. It is postulated that the involvement of MurG in the peptidoglycan synthesis concurs with two complexes, one implicated in cell elongation and the other in division. A model representing the first complex is proposed.