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PGfinder, a novel analysis pipeline for the consistent, reproducible and high- resolution structural analysis of bacterial peptidoglycans

By Ankur V Patel, Robert D Turner, Aline Rifflet, Adelina E Acosta-Martin, Andrew Nichols, Milena M Awad, Dena Lyras, Ivo Gomperts Boneca, Marshall Bern, Mark Collins, Stephane Mesnage

Posted 01 Jun 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.01.446515

Many software solutions are available for proteomics and glycomics studies, but none are ideal for the structural analysis of peptidoglycan, the essential and major component of bacterial cell envelopes. It is comprised of glycan chains and peptide stems, both containing unusual amino acids and sugars. This has forced the field to rely on manual analysis approaches, which are time-consuming, labour-intensive, and prone to error. The lack of automated tools has hampered the ability to perform high-throughput analyses and prevented the adoption of a standard methodology. Here, we describe a novel tool called PGfinder for the analysis of peptidoglycan structure and demonstrate that it represents a powerful tool to quantify PG fragments and discover novel structural features. Our analysis workflow, which relies on open-access tools, is a breakthrough towards a consistent and reproducible analysis of bacterial peptidoglycans. It represents a significant advance towards peptidoglycomics as a full-fledged discipline.

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