The rhodococcal cell envelope: composition, organisation and biosynthesis

Iain Sutcliffe, Alistair Brown, Lynn Dover

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The cell envelopes of i and their closest relatives are dominated by the presence of large branched chain fatty acids, the mycolic acids. Here we review the structural features underlying the incorporation of the mycolic acids into the rhodococcal cell envelope, notably their covalent anchoring to the peptidoglycan–arabinogalactan complex and their organisation into an outer lipid permeability barrier. Rhodococcal cell envelopes also accommodate diverse non-covalently associated components such as channel-forming porin proteins, free lipids, lipoglycans, lipoproteins and capsules or cell envelope polysaccharides. Based on the extensive studies of cell envelope biogenesis in corynebacteria and mycobacteria, we have used a comparative genomics approach to examine the pathways for the biosynthesis of the major cell envelope components of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiology of Rhodococcus
EditorsHéctor M. Alvarez
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages365
ISBN (Print)978-3642129360
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Publication series

NameMicrobiology Monographs
ISSN (Electronic)1862-5576


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