Cell Wall Composition in Bacterial and L Forms of Proteus vulgaris

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α-ɛ-DIAMINOPIMELIC ACID is known as an important constituent of the ‘basic structure’ of the bacterial cell wall1–3. As L forms seem to have a much less rigid cell wall than bacteria, the assumption that the L forms lack a normal wall became a main issue4,5. It was suggested that penicillin blocks some of the steps necessary for the condensation of the definitive wall. Recently, Weidel6 has concluded from his experiments on phage enzyme that the main site of action of penicillin is the ‘basic structure’, consisting of α-ɛ-diaminopimelic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, glucosamine and muramic acid. Accordingly, this fraction should be missing in the L forms.

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KANDLER, O., HUND, A. & ZEHENDER, C. Cell Wall Composition in Bacterial and L Forms of Proteus vulgaris . Nature 181, 572–573 (1958) doi:10.1038/181572a0

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