Bacterial wall synthesis takes place in all bacteria. The cell wall comprises a cross linked peptidoglycan consisting of alternating N-acetylglucosamine - NAG - and N- acetyl muramic acid, NAMA, together with five amino acid long peptides.
Gram positive bacteria have thick cell walls, up to 30 nm thick, with tight cross linking and interspersed with teichoic acids and lipoteichoic acids.
Gram negative bacteria have thin cell walls, between two and three nm, with loose cross linking. In addition to this they have an external membrane structure of lipopolysaccharide and lipoprotein which confers on them impermeability to many antibiotics.
Last reviewed 01/2018