Most bacteria break down a significant portion of their cell wall peptidoglycan during each round of growth and cell division. This process generates peptidoglycan fragments of various sizes that can either be imported back into the cytoplasm for recycling or released from the cell. Released fragments have been shown to act as microbe-associated molecular patterns for the initiation of immune responses, as triggers for the initiation of mutualistic host-microbe relationships, and as signals for cell-cell communication in bacteria. Characterizing these released peptidoglycan fragments can, therefore, be considered an important step in understanding how microbes communicate with other organisms in their environments. In this chapter, we describe methods for labeling cell wall peptidoglycan, calculating the rate at which peptidoglycan is turned over, and collecting released peptidoglycan to determine the abundance and species of released fragments. Methods are described for both the separation of peptidoglycan fragments by sizeexclusion chromatography and further detailed analysis by HPLC.
Schaub, R. E., Lenz, J. D., & Dillard, J. P. (2016). Analysis of peptidoglycan fragment release. In Methods in Molecular Biology (Vol. 1440, pp. 185–200). Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3676-2_14