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Author ORCID Identifier
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
M. Sloan Siegrist
Yasu S. Morita
Biochemistry | Microbial Physiology | Organic Chemistry
The bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan is a conserved component of the bacterial envelope that is essential for morphogenesis and survival, making it an exceptional drug target. With a multitude of cellular shapes, different bacterial species have characteristic subcellular sites of peptidoglycan synthesis that they must carefully maintain for shape, surface integrity and, ultimately, viability. In this work, I studied and targeted cell wall synthesis using prokaryotic models such as mycobacteria, a group of bacteria that include animal and human pathogens, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In the first part, I found that peptidoglycan-marking probes report different metabolic activities in mycobacteria, and that these organisms can grow peptidoglycan differently than traditionally thought. Later, I describe how the pole and lateral-growing Mycobacterium smegmatis and E. coli, respectively, partition their peptidoglycan synthesis within plasma membrane compartments and identify key elements that mediate this organization. And finally, I designed and tested different strategies to tackle the envelope of S. aureus.
García-Heredia, Alam, "Synthesis and targeting of the bacterial cell wall" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations. 2467.
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