Illumination of growth, division and secretion by metabolic labeling of the bacterial cell surface

M. Sloan Siegrist, Benjamin M. Swarts, Douglas M. Fox, Shion An Lim, Carolyn R. Bertozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cell surface is the essential interface between a bacterium and its surroundings. Composed primarily of molecules that are not directly genetically encoded, this highly dynamic structure accommodates the basic cellular processes of growth and division as well as the transport of molecules between the cytoplasm and the extracellular milieu. In this review, we describe aspects of bacterial growth, division and secretion that have recently been uncovered by metabolic labeling of the cell envelope. Metabolite derivatives can be used to label a variety of macromolecules, from proteins to non-genetically-encoded glycans and lipids. The embedded metabolite enables precise tracking in time and space, and the versatility of newer chemoselective detection methods offers the ability to execute multiple experiments concurrently. In addition to reviewing the discoveries enabled by metabolic labeling of the bacterial cell envelope, we also discuss the potential of these techniques for translational applications. Finally, we offer some guidelines for implementing this emerging technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-202
Number of pages19
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bioorthogonal
  • Click chemistry
  • Glycolipid
  • Metabolic labeling
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Protein secretion

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