IGEM:MIT/2005/Bacterial Membrane/Cell Wall

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  • Picture belongs to University of Georgia.
    • Outer membrane: This lipid bilayer is found in Gram negative bacteria and is the source of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS is toxic and turns on the immune system; LPS is found in Gram negative, but not in Gram positive, bacteria.
    • Cell wall is composed of peptidoglycan (polysaccharides + protein), the cell wall maintains the overall shape of a bacterial cell. The three primary shapes in bacteria are coccus (spherical), bacillus (rod-shaped) and spirillum (spiral). Mycoplasma are bacteria that have no cell wall and therefore have no definite shape.
    • Periplasm: This cellular compartment is found only in those bacteria that have both an outer membrane and plasma membrane (e.g. Gram negative bacteria). In the space are enzymes and other proteins that help digest and move nutrients into the cell.
    • Inner membrane: also known as plasma membrane. This is a lipid bilayer much like the cytoplasmic (plasma) membrane of other cells. There are numerous proteins moving within or upon this layer that are primarily responsible for transport of ions, nutrients and waste across the membrane.
  • Problems
    • The outer membrane is the major permeability barrier in Gram negative bacteria. Gram negative bacteria store degradative enzymes in the periplasmic space.
  • Solutions
    • Work with E.Coli strain that is cell-wall deficient
    • Or work with E.Coli strain that has the most permeable cell wall <-- LIMITATION of antigen size. Ways to make cell wall permeable are: treatment with chemicals (example: EDTA)
    • Linkers
  • Statistics:
  • Peptidoglycan hydrolytic activities associated with bacteriophage virions. paper with some in depth characterization of ways around/through the periplasm. maybe we can learn something from how phages shoot through the periplasm to do their bizness. (unread)
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