Dictionary > Peptidoglycan


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.
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...

Developmental Biology
Developmental Biology

Developmental biology is a biological science that is primarily concerned with how a living thing grows and attains matu..

Chemical effects on plant growth and development
Effect of Chemicals on Growth & Development in Organisms

Plants and animals need elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium for proper growth and developme..

Geological Periods
Geological Periods

Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

One of Mendel's law of inheritance is the "law of dominance". There are certain cases though that this pattern is not ob..

3D rendering of an antibody
Passive and Active Types of Immunity

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell capable of producing a specific immune response to unique antigens. In thi..

Protein Synthesis

Part of the genetic information is devoted to the synthesis of proteins. mRNA, a type of RNA, is produced as a transcri..