Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Maintenance of bacterial cell shape and resistance to osmotic stress by the peptidoglycan (PG) renders PG biosynthetic enzymes and precursors attractive targets for combating bacterial infections. Here, by applying native mass spectrometry, we elucidate the effects of lipid substrates on the PG membrane enzymes MraY, MurG, and MurJ. We show that dimerization of MraY is coupled with binding of the carrier lipid substrate undecaprenyl phosphate (C55-P). Further, we demonstrate the use of native MS for biosynthetic reaction monitoring and find that the passage of substrates and products is controlled by the relative binding affinities of the different membrane enzymes. Overall, we provide a molecular view of how PG membrane enzymes convey lipid precursors through favourable binding events and highlight possible opportunities for intervention.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Bacteria, Cell Wall, Lipids, Peptidoglycan