Phosphocholine of pneumococcal teichoic acids: role in bacterial physiology and pneumococcal infection

Res Microbiol. Jul-Aug 2000;151(6):421-7. doi: 10.1016/s0923-2508(00)00174-1.


Pneumococci have an absolute nutritional requirement for choline. Choline is incorporated as phosphocholine (PCho) into lipoteichoic (LTA) and teichoic acid (TA). The PCho residues are required for transformability, the activity of autolysins, the separation of daughter cells after cell division and for anchoring a family of surface proteins which play important roles in pneumococcal infection. The genes encoding the enzymes for PCho incorporation are described. Two strains that acquired the ability to grow in the absence of choline are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phosphorylcholine / metabolism*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / metabolism
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / physiology*
  • Teichoic Acids / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • LicD1 protein, Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Teichoic Acids
  • Phosphorylcholine
  • lipoteichoic acid
  • Choline