In vitro reconstitution of two essential steps in wall teichoic acid biosynthesis

ACS Chem Biol. 2006 Feb 17;1(1):25-8. doi: 10.1021/cb0500041.


Wall teichoic acids (WTAs) are anionic polymers that decorate the cell walls of many gram-positive bacteria. These structures are essential for survival or virulence in many organisms, which makes the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis attractive targets for the development of new antibacterial agents. We present a strategy to obtain WTA biosynthetic intermediates that involves a combination of chemical and enzymatic transformations. Using these intermediates, we have reconstituted the first two committed steps in the biosynthetic pathway. This work enables the exploration of WTA-synthesizing enzymes as antibiotic targets.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / drug effects
  • Base Sequence
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • Drug Design
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins / drug effects
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptidoglycan / chemistry
  • Teichoic Acids / biosynthesis*
  • Teichoic Acids / chemistry
  • Teichoic Acids / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Lipoproteins
  • Peptidoglycan
  • TagA protein, bacteria
  • Teichoic Acids