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D-Alanine Metabolism

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The bacterial cell wall is a unique biopolymer, containing both D- and L-Amino acids. Its basic structure is a carbohydrate backbone of alternating units of N-Acetyl Glucosamine and N-Acetyl Muramic Acid. The N-Acetyl Muramic Acid residues are cross-linked with oligopeptides. The terminal peptide is D-Alanine although other amino acids are present as D- isomers and this is the only known biological molecule that contains D-Amino acids, which are responsible for the building of peptidoglycan. The cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria is largely made up of pepidoglycan. A key step in peptidoglycan layer assembly and deposition is the subsequent enzymic cross-linking of one peptidoglycan strand to an adjacent one in cell wall growth. Protonated D-Alanyl Ester residues, one of the principal [...]


1.Molecular dynamics studies of alanine racemase: a structural model for drug design.
Mustata GI, Soares TA, Briggs JM.
Biopolymers 2003 Oct; 70(2):186-200
2.A side reaction of alanine racemase: transamination of cycloserine.
Fenn TD, Stamper GF, Morollo AA, Ringe D.
Biochemistry 2003 May 20; 42(19):5775-83
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