Dictionary > Peptidoglycan

Peptidoglycan

Definition
noun, plural: peptidoglycans
(1) A glycan (a polysaccharide) attached to short cross-linked oligopeptides in the cell wall of eubacteria
(2) A crystal lattice structure in the bacterial cell wall that is made up of linear chains of alternating amino sugars, namely N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid, and short peptide chains of three to five amino acids (attached to the N-acetylmuramic acid). The peptide chains form cross-links between them resulting in a 3D mesh-like structure.
(3) A polymer that serves a structural role in the bacterial cell wall, giving structural strength, as well as counteracting the osmotic pressure of the cytoplasm. It is also involved in binary fission during bacterial cell reproduction.
Supplement
The peptidoglycan layer of Gram-positive bacteria is substantially thicker than that of Gram-negative bacteria. Hence, Gram-positive bacteria are more susceptible to certain antimicrobial agents like penicillin and other β-lactam antibiotics that work by inhibiting the formation of peptidoglycan cross-links thereby weakening their cell wall.
Synonym: mucopeptide, murein.

See also: cell wall (bacteria).


You will also like...

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
The Central Nervous System

Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

Cambial cells
Plant Tissues

Plant organs are comprised of tissues working together for a common function. The different types of plant tissues are m..

Pikas are an indicator species for climate change
Indicator Species and Endangered Species

Certain species are capable of expressing characteristics indicative of the state of the ecosystem they occupy. They are..

Plant biology
Plant Biology

Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
Amphibians & Early Reptiles

Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..