The primary goal of our research program is directed towards an understanding of cell wall biosynthesis on the molecular level. The synthesis, assembly, and amplification of this structure is catalyzed by an integrated series of membrane-associated enzymes that are carefully regulated by the organism. Our research will contribute to an understanding of these enzymes, membrane events in peptidoglycan synthesis, membrane-wall interrelationships, and membrane teichoic acid biosynthesis. In addition, it is our goal to apply the results of our studies to the design of antibacterial agents that inhibit the assembly of cross-linked peptidoglycan. Six specific objectives will be undertaken for the coming year. (1) Role of the wall in stabilizing the organization of those enzymes that are involved in processing nascent peptidoglycan. (2) Reconstitution of membranes and walls that are simultaneously freeze-thawed. (3) Processing of nascent peptidoglycan by freeze-thawed membranes for additon to walls. (4) Mechanisms of penicillin and D-methionine actions on nascent peptidoglycan synthesis. (5) Specific microenvironments monitored by the dansyl reporter group during the course of peptidoglycan assembly. (6) Mechanism and D-alanine acylation of lipoteichoic acid: role of D-alanyl-lipophilic intermediates and D-alanine: membrane acceptor ligase. An investigation of these projects will contribute to our understanding of cell wall assembly and membrane chemistry that relates to this process. Our present objectives will provide insights into the events, regulations, and translocations that occur in the bacterial membrane for elaboration of this extracellular structure, the cell wall.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Microbial Physiology and Genetics Subcommittee 2 (MBC)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Neuhaus, Francis C; Baddiley, James (2003) A continuum of anionic charge: structures and functions of D-alanyl-teichoic acids in gram-positive bacteria. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 67:686-723
Pollack, J H; Neuhaus, F C (1994) Changes in wall teichoic acid during the rod-sphere transition of Bacillus subtilis 168. J Bacteriol 176:7252-9
Heaton, M P; Neuhaus, F C (1994) Role of the D-alanyl carrier protein in the biosynthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid. J Bacteriol 176:681-90
Heaton, M P; Neuhaus, F C (1992) Biosynthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid: cloning, nucleotide sequence, and expression of the Lactobacillus casei gene for the D-alanine-activating enzyme. J Bacteriol 174:4707-17
Pollack, J H; Ntamere, A S; Neuhaus, F C (1992) D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid in Lactobacillus casei: secretion of vesicles in response to benzylpenicillin. J Gen Microbiol 138:849-59
Sinha, R K; Neuhaus, F C (1991) Biosynthesis of peptidoglycan in Gaffkya homari: on the target(s) of benzylpenicillin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 35:1753-9
Manteuffel, R L; Neuhaus, F C (1987) Intramembranal events in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan in Gaffkya homari. Biochemistry 26:10-6
Ntamere, A S; Taron, D J; Neuhaus, F C (1987) Assembly of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid in Lactobacillus casei: mutants deficient in the D-alanyl ester content of this amphiphile. J Bacteriol 169:1702-11
Wrezel, P W; Ellis, L F; Neuhaus, F C (1986) In vivo target of benzylpenicillin in Gaffkya homari. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 29:432-9
Childs 3rd, W C; Taron, D J; Neuhaus, F C (1985) Biosynthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid by Lactobacillus casei: interchain transacylation of D-alanyl ester residues. J Bacteriol 162:1191-5

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications