New chemical tools to probe cell wall biosynthesis in bacteria
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Some of the most successful drugs in the antibiotic pharmacopeia are those that inhibit bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. However, the worldwide spread of bacterial antibiotic resistance has eroded the clinical efficacy of these drugs and the antibiotic pipeline continues to be lean as drug discovery programs struggle to bring new agents to the clinic. Nevertheless, cell wall biogenesis remains a high interest and celebrated target. Recent advances in the preparation of chemical probes and biosynthetic intermediates provide the tools necessary to better understand cell wall assembly. Likewise, these tools offer new opportunities to identify and evaluate novel biosynthetic inhibitors. This review aims to highlight these advancements and to provide context for their utility as innovative new tools to study cell wall biogenesis and for antibacterial drug discovery.
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