Cell wall polysaccharides of Gram positive ovococcoid bacteria and their role as bacteriophage receptors

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Date
2021
Authors
Lavelle, Katherine
van Sinderen, Douwe
Mahony, Jennifer
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Elsevier
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Abstract
Gram-positive bacterial cell walls are characterised by the presence of a thick peptidoglycan layer which provides protection from extracellular stresses, maintains cell integrity and determines cell morphology, while it also serves as a foundation to anchor a number of crucial polymeric structures. For ovococcal species, including streptococci, enterococci and lactococci, such structures are represented by rhamnose-containing cell wall polysaccharides, which at least in some instances appear to serve as a functional replacement for wall teichoic acids. The biochemical composition of several streptococcal, lactococcal and enterococcal rhamnose-containing cell wall polysaccharides have been elucidated, while associated functional genomic analyses have facilitated the proposition of models for individual biosynthetic pathways. Here, we review the genomic loci which encode the enzymatic machinery to produce rhamnose-containing, cell wall-associated polysaccharide (Rha cwps) structures of the afore-mentioned ovococcal bacteria with particular emphasis on gene content, biochemical structure and common biosynthetic steps. Furthermore, we discuss the role played by these saccharidic polymers as receptors for bacteriophages and the important role phages play in driving Rha cwps diversification and evolution.
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Keywords
Lactococcus , Streptococcus , Staphylococcus , Enterococcus , Cell envelope , Rhamnose-glucose polymers , Phage-host interactions
Citation
Lavelle, K., Sinderen, D.V. and Mahony, J. (2021) ‘Cell wall polysaccharides of Gram positive ovococcoid bacteria and their role as bacteriophage receptors’, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 19, pp. 4018–4031. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2021.07.011