Summary: In the physiological consequences of depriving lipoteichoic acid and wall teichoic acid of -alanine ester were analysed using insertional inactivation of the genes of the operon. Mutant strains which lacked positively charged -alanine ester in teichoic acids bound more positively charged cytochrome than other strains. These mutant strains also showed enhanced autolysis and a higher susceptibility to methicillin, which was expressed as accelerated wall lysis, a faster loss of viability and a slower recovery in the postantibiotic phase. The effects of methicillin could be suppressed by simultaneous addition of magnesium ions at low concentrations. The degradation of whole bacteria by bone-marrow-derived macrophages was not influenced by the surface charge and alanylation of the teichoic acids had no protective effect.


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