description/function of peptidoglycan cell wall

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cherryhitchkins
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#1
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#1
Anyone?
Is it different to normal cell wall's structure?
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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#2
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Hi there!

The peptidoglycan cell wall is found only in bacteria [the plant cell wall is made of cellulose, that of fungi is made of chitin].

The importance to us humans of knowing the structure/synthesis of a peptidoglycan cell wall is that we have developed antibiotics to destroy this wall in bacteria to kill them and ideally cure infections caused by these micro-organisms. These drugs include those with a beta-lactam ring i.e. penicillins e.g. cloxacillin, ampicillin;and cephalosporins. e.g. cephaloridine, cephalexin; as well as the glycopeptide vancomycin.

Peptidoglycan has a highly cross-linked lattice structure consisting of fibres of N-acetylmuramic acid [NAM] and NAG [N-acetylglucosamine].

Penicillin prevents the formation of peptidoglycan by blocking an enzyme [transpeptidase] that is needed for the 3rd and final stage of synthesis of the cross-links between the fibres. This compromises the normally great strength of the cell wall, water enters the bacterial cell, which swells up and the blighter bursts! TOUGH!

I hope this helps tho slightly complex - if struggling to grasp the info, do ask for a simpler answer!

Be safe!
M
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cherryhitchkins
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#3
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#3
(Original post by macpatgh-Sheldon)
Hi there!

The peptidoglycan cell wall is found only in bacteria [the plant cell wall is made of cellulose, that of fungi is made of chitin].

The importance to us humans of knowing the structure/synthesis of a peptidoglycan cell wall is that we have developed antibiotics to destroy this wall in bacteria to kill them and ideally cure infections caused by these micro-organisms. These drugs include those with a beta-lactam ring i.e. penicillins e.g. cloxacillin, ampicillin;and cephalosporins. e.g. cephaloridine, cephalexin; as well as the glycopeptide vancomycin.

Peptidoglycan has a highly cross-linked lattice structure consisting of fibres of N-acetylmuramic acid [NAM] and NAG [N-acetylglucosamine].

Penicillin prevents the formation of peptidoglycan by blocking an enzyme [transpeptidase] that is needed for the 3rd and final stage of synthesis of the cross-links between the fibres. This compromises the normally great strength of the cell wall, water enters the bacterial cell, which swells up and the blighter bursts! TOUGH!

I hope this helps tho slightly complex - if struggling to grasp the info, do ask for a simpler answer!

Be safe!
M
I am not gonna lie, I dont really understand it
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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#4
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(Original post by cherryhitchkins)
I am not gonna lie, I dont really understand it
Ok no probs dw - I shall put it in simpler format for you!

Ignoring the detailed chemistry of NAM and NAG, think of it this way - peptidoglycan is the "chemical" in a bacterial cell wall, yeah? It is made of strong fibres joined by cross-links: still ok? [btw a plant cell wall = "normal" cell wall is made of cellulose NOT peptidoglycan].

Alright, so you know we can catch an infection by a bacterium [plural = bacteria] yes? e.g. meningitis, pneumonia, etc. To treat a patient with such an infection doctors prescribe a penicillin [sometimes], an antibiotic. This medicine stops the formation of peptidoglycan so the stupid bacterium has a weak wall. Hence water enters the bacterium by osmosis and the wretched thing bursts and dies, yeah? Oc you understand that this killing of bacteria is good for our patient as it cures his/her infection, happy?

Sorry to make you visit confused.com c my 1st ans! :sorry:

Take care!
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cherryhitchkins
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#5
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#5
(Original post by macpatgh-Sheldon)
Ok no probs dw - I shall put it in simpler format for you!

Ignoring the detailed chemistry of NAM and NAG, think of it this way - peptidoglycan is the "chemical" in a bacterial cell wall, yeah? It is made of strong fibres joined by cross-links: still ok? [btw a plant cell wall = "normal" cell wall is made of cellulose NOT peptidoglycan].

Alright, so you know we can catch an infection by a bacterium [plural = bacteria] yes? e.g. meningitis, pneumonia, etc. To treat a patient with such an infection doctors prescribe a penicillin [sometimes], an antibiotic. This medicine stops the formation of peptidoglycan so the stupid bacterium has a weak wall. Hence water enters the bacterium by osmosis and the wretched thing bursts and dies, yeah? Oc you understand that this killing of bacteria is good for our patient as it cures his/her infection, happy?

Sorry to make you visit confused.com c my 1st ans! :sorry:

Take care!
thank you
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