Secondary cell wall polymers fulfil diverse and important functions within the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. Here, we will provide a brief overview of the principles of teichoic acid and complex secondary cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis pathways in Firmicutes and summarize the recently revised mechanism for the decoration of teichoic acids with d-alanines. Many cell wall polymers are decorated with glycosyl groups, either intracellularly or extracellularly. The main focus of this review will be on the extracellular glycosylation mechanism and recent advances that have been made in the identification of enzymes involved in this process. Based on the proteins involved, we propose to rename the system to multi-component transmembrane glycosylation system in place of three-component glycosylation system.
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