Breaching the great wall: peptidoglycan and microbial interactions

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Sep;4(9):710-6. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1486. Epub 2006 Aug 7.


Once thought to be a process that occurred only in a few human pathogens, release of biologically active peptidoglycan fragments during growth by Gram-negative bacteria controls many types of bacterial interaction, including symbioses and interactions between microorganisms. This Perspective explores the role of peptidoglycan fragments in mediating a range of microbial-host interactions, and discusses the many systems in which peptidoglycan fragments released during bacterial growth might be active.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Cytotoxins / metabolism
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Peptidoglycan / genetics
  • Peptidoglycan / metabolism*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Symbiosis


  • Cytotoxins
  • Peptidoglycan