Analyses of the peptidoglycan nucleotide precursor contents of enterococci and staphylococci treated with ramoplanin, tunicamycin, or vancomycin were carried out by high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (MS). In all cases, a sharp increase in the UDP-N-actetylmuramoyl-pentapeptide or -pentadepsipeptide pool was observed. Concomitantly, new peptidoglycan nucleotide peptides of higher molecular masses with hexa- or heptapeptide moieties were identified: UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide-Asp or pentadepsipeptide-Asp in enterococci and UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide-Gly or -Ala and UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide-Gly-Gly or -Ala-Gly in staphylococci. These new compounds are derivatives of normal UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide or -pentadepsipeptide precursors with the extra amino acid(s) linked to the lysine epsilon-amino group as established by various analytical procedures (MS, MS-MS fragmentation, chemical analysis, and digestion with R39 D,D carboxypeptidase). Except for tunicamycin-treated cells, it was not possible to ascertain whether these unusual nucleotides were formed by direct addition of the amino acids to UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide (or -pentadepsipeptide) or whether they arose by reverse reactions from lipid I intermediates to which the amino acids had been added.