1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Two-component Signaling Pathways: A bacterial Goldilocks mechanism

  1. Irene M Kim
  2. Hendrik Szurmant  Is a corresponding author
  1. Western University of Health Sciences, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e54244 doi: 10.7554/eLife.54244
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Figures

The Goldilocks principle applied to bacterial cell wall homeostasis.

The bacterial cell wall (top left) consists of sugar strands (hexagons) that are crosslinked via peptide bonds between their peptide sidechains (small circles). Cell expansion requires the incorporation of new cell wall material. Autolysin enzymes cleave the peptide crosslinks to allow for expansion. Insufficient autolysin activity prevents expansion and thus growth (bottom left). Uncontrolled autolysin activity results in cell wall destruction and lysis (indicated by yellow stars, top right). When the autolysin activity is ‘just right’, the cell wall expands (red) and its integrity is maintained (bottom right).

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