Sliding Motility, Biofilm Formation, and Glycopeptidolipid Production in Mycobacterium colombiense Strains
Species of opportunistic mycobacteria are the major causative agent for disseminating pulmonary infections in immuno-compromised individuals. These naturally resistant strains recruit a unique type of glycolipid known as glycopeptidolipids (GPLs), noncovalently attached to the outer surface of their thick lipid rich cell envelope. Species specific GPLs constitute the chemical determinants of most nontuberculous mycobacterial serotypes, and their absence from the cell surface confers altered colony morphology, hydrophobicity, and inability to grow as biofilms. The objective of this review is to present a comprehensive account and highlight the renewed interest on this much neglected group of pleiotropic molecules with respect to their structural diversity and biosynthesis. In addition, the role of GPLs in mycobacterial survival, both intracellular and in the environment is also discussed. It also explores the possibility of identifying new targets for intervening Mycobacterium avium complex-related infections. These antigenic molecules have been considered to play a pivotal role in immune suppression and can also induce various cytokine mediated innate immune responses, the molecular mechanism of which remains obscure.