Fluorescent probes for investigating peptidoglycan biosynthesis in mycobacteria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people in 2018. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the most deadly infectious bacteria in the world. A strength of mycobacterial pathogens — their formidable cell wall — could also be one of their greatest molecular vulnerabilities. As in other bacteria, peptidoglycan (PG) maintenance and integrity is essential to mycobacterial survival. But Mtb PG is unique, and a better understanding of its biosynthetic machinery could lead to new drugs or more effective treatment regimens. Such investigations are being accelerated by the application of fluorescent probes, including those based on vancomycin, β-lactams, PG stem mimics, D-amino acids, and reactive glycans. This review will describe how fluorescent probes are being used to uncover new information on the regulation and drug susceptibility of two classes of enzymes that fortify the Mtb PG: the penicillin-binding proteins and the L,D-transpeptidases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Antibiotic
  • Chemical biology
  • Fluorescent D-amino acid
  • Fluorescent probe
  • Peptide
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Transpeptidase
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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