For more information on Peptidoglycans please browse our online Glycobiology Analysis Manual.
Most bacteria have a cell wall containing the polymer peptidoglycan and other polymers including teichoic and teichuronic acids. Peptidoglycan gives rigidity to the cell wall. There may be up to 40 layers of this polymer making up the cell wall conferring enormous mechanical strength.

Peptidoglycan is a unique biopolymer containing both D- and L-amino acids making it the only known biological molecule that contains D-amino acids. Its basic structure is a carbohydrate backbone of alternating units of N-acetyl glucosamine and N-acetyl muramic acid. The N-acetyl muramic acid residues are cross-linked with oligopeptides. The terminal peptide is D-alanine although other amino acids are present as D-isomers.

Peptidoglycan is the target of numerous antibacterial antibiotics e.g. penicillin. Penicillin inhibits the enzymes transpeptidase and carboxypeptidase, which are necessary for producing peptidoglycan. Lysozyme, present in tears, is able to split the peptidoglycan between the N-acetyl glucosamine and N-acetyl muramic acid linkage. Additionally, primary immune recognition is based on structures common among invading pathogens. Surface molecules, such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), peptidoglycan and peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP), are known to elicit immune reactions ranging from cytokine release to fever.

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69554 Peptidoglycan from Bacillus subtilis
SMB00288 Peptidoglycan from Bacillus subtilis
78721 Peptidoglycan from Methanobacterium sp.
53243 Peptidoglycan from Micrococcus luteus
72789 Peptidoglycan from Saccharomyces cerevisiae
77140 Peptidoglycan from Staphylococcus aureus cell wall component
79682 Peptidoglycan from Streptomyces sp.