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The pgdA gene encodes for a peptidoglycan N-acetylglucosamine deacetylase in Streptococcus pneumoniae

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Waldemar Vollmer


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Analytical work on the fractionation of the glycan strands of Streptococcus pneumoniae cell wall has led to the observation that an unusually high proportion of hexosamine units (over 80% of the glucosamine and 10% of the muramic acid residues) was not N-acetylated, explaining the resistance of the peptidoglycan to the hydrolytic action of lysozyme, a muramidase that cleaves in the glycan backbone. A gene, pgdA, was identified as encoding for the peptidoglycanN-acetylglucosamine deacetylaseA with amino acid sequence similarity to fungal chitin deacetylases and rhizobial NodB chitooligosaccharide deacetylases. Pneumococci in which pgdA was inactivated by insertion duplication mutagenesis produced fully N-acetylated glycan and became hypersensitive to exogenous lysozyme in the stationary phase of growth. The pgdA gene may contribute to pneumococcal virulence by providing protection against host lysozyme, which is known to accumulate in high concentrations at infection sites.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vollmer W, Tomasz A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2000

Volume: 275

Issue: 27

Pages: 20496-20501

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M910189199


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