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Journal Articles Journal of Biological Chemistry Year : 2022

Structural variations and roles of rhamnose-rich cell wall polysaccharides in Gram-positive bacteria

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Abstract

Rhamnose-rich cell wall polysaccharides (Rha-CWPSs) have emerged as crucial cell wall components of numerous Gram-positive, ovoid-shaped bacteria-including streptococci, enterococci, and lactococci-of which many are of clinical or biotechnological importance. Rha-CWPS are composed of a conserved polyrhamnose backbone with side-chain substituents of variable size and structure. Because these substituents contain phosphate groups, Rha-CWPS can also be classified as polyanionic glycopolymers, similar to wall teichoic acids, of which they appear to be functional homologs. Recent advances have highlighted the critical role of these side-chain substituents in bacterial cell growth and division, as well as in specific interactions between bacteria and infecting bacteriophages or eukaryotic hosts. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the structure and biosynthesis of Rha-CWPS in several ovoid-shaped bacterial species. We emphasize the role played by multicomponent transmembrane glycosylation systems in the addition of side-chain substituents of various sizes as extracytoplasmic modifications of the polyrhamnose backbone. We provide an overview of the contribution of Rha-CWPS to cell wall architecture and biogenesis and discuss current hypotheses regarding their importance in the cell division process. Finally, we sum up the critical roles that Rha-CWPS can play as bacteriophage receptors or in escaping host defenses, roles that are mediated mainly through their side-chain substituents. From an applied perspective, increased knowledge of Rha-CWPS can lead to advancements in strategies for preventing phage infection of lactococci and streptococci in food fermentation and for combating pathogenic streptococci and enterococci.

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hal-03786734 , version 1 (23-09-2022)

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Hugo Guérin, Saulius Kulakauskas, Marie-Pierre Chapot-Chartier. Structural variations and roles of rhamnose-rich cell wall polysaccharides in Gram-positive bacteria. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2022, 298 (10), pp.102488. ⟨10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102488⟩. ⟨hal-03786734⟩
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