Journal of bacteriology

Identification of the Escherichia coli murI gene, which is required for the biosynthesis of D-glutamic acid, a specific component of bacterial peptidoglycan.

PMID 1355768


The murI gene of Escherichia coli, whose inactivation results in the inability to form colonies in the absence of D-glutamic acid, was identified in the 90-min region of the chromosome. The complementation of an auxotrophic E. coli B/r strain by various DNA sources allowed us to clone a 2.5-kbp EcoRI chromosomal fragment carrying the murI gene into multicopy plasmids. The murI gene corresponds to a previously sequenced open reading frame, ORF1 (J. Brosius, T. J. Dull, D. D. Sleeter, and H. F. Noller. J. Bacteriol. 148:107-127, 1987), located between the btuB gene, encoding the vitamin B12 outer membrane receptor protein, and the rrnB operon, which contains the genes for 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs. The murI gene product is predicted to be a protein of 289 amino acids with a molecular weight of 31,500. Attempts to identify its enzymatic activity were unsuccessful. Cells altered in the murI gene accumulate UDP-N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine to a high level when depleted of D-glutamic acid. Pools of precursors located downstream in the pathway are consequently depleted, and cell lysis finally occurs when the peptidoglycan content is 25% lower than that of normally growing cells.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

D-Glutamic acid, ≥99% (TLC)