Diversity and Functionality of Mycobacterial Mycolic Acids in Relation to Host-pathogen Interactions (E-pub Ahead of Print)
Magdalena Druszczyńska ,
Konrad Kowalski ,
The complex architecture of the mycobacterial cell wall is responsible for many physiological and infection-associated properties of these pathogens. Long chain mycolic acids with chiral functional groups constitute a major lipid envelope component, and therefore play a crucial role in determining the permeability and fluidity of the cell wall. Varying proportions of the different mycolate types are present in various mycobacteria. This serves to designate a specific mycolic acid profile, allowing the differentiation of species and subspecies. In this review, we explore the diversity in mycolic acid chemical structure, its influence on cell wall permeability and consequences for virulence, and present how they might be exploited as research targets in diagnosis and chemotherapy.
Keywords: Mycolic acid, mycobacteria, cell wall permeability, cell wall fluidity, virulence, diagnostics.
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