Synthesis and recycling of the mycobacterial cell envelope

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of the disease tuberculosis, is a recognised global health concern. The efficacy of the current treatment regime is under threat due to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, directing an urgent requirement for the discovery of new anti-tubercular agents and drug targets. The mycobacterial cell wall is a well-validated drug target for Mtb and is composed of three adaptive macromolecular structures, peptidoglycan, arabinogalactan and mycolic acids, an array of complex lipids and carbohydrates. The majority of the enzymes involved in cell wall synthesis have been established, whilst studies directed towards the mechanisms of remodelling and recycling have been neglected. This review briefly describes mycobacterial cell wall synthesis, and focuses on aspects of remodelling and recycling, thus highlighting opportunities for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Early online date18 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
GSB acknowledges support in the form of a Personal Research Chair from Mr. James Bardrick , a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award , and the Medical Research Council , UK ( MR/R001154/1 and MR/S000542/1 ).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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