Editor: Michael Mourez
Location, synthesis and function of glycolipids and polyglycerolphosphate lipoteichoic acid in Gram-positive bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2011
© 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume 319, Issue 2, pages 97–105, June 2011
How to Cite
Reichmann, N. T. and Gründling, A. (2011), Location, synthesis and function of glycolipids and polyglycerolphosphate lipoteichoic acid in Gram-positive bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 319: 97–105. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2011.02260.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 MAR 2011 09:18AM EST
- Received 24 January 2011; revised 24 February 2011; accepted 28 February 2011., Final version published online 25 March 2011.
- cell wall;
- Gram-positive periplasm;
- protein localization
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is a zwitterionic polymer found in the cell wall of many Gram-positive bacteria. A widespread and one of the best-studied forms of LTA consists of a polyglycerolphosphate (PGP) chain that is tethered to the membrane via a glycolipid anchor. In this review, we will summarize our current understanding of the enzymes involved in glycolipid and PGP backbone synthesis in a variety of different Gram-positive bacteria. The recent identification of key LTA synthesis proteins allowed the construction and analysis of mutant strains with defined defects in glycolipid or backbone synthesis. Using these strains, new information on the functions of LTA for bacterial growth, physiology and during developmental processes was gained and will be discussed. Furthermore, we will reintroduce the idea that LTA remains in close proximity to the bacterial membrane for its function during bacterial growth rather than as a surface-exposed structure.