N-Acetylmuramic acid

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N-Acetylmuramic acid
N-Acetylmuramic acid.svg
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.031.092 Edit this at Wikidata
Molar mass 293.272 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

N-Acetylmuramic acid, "NAM" or MurNAc, is the addition of phosphoenolpyruvate and N-acetylglucosamine with the chemical formula C
. It is a key builder of peptidoglycan in the bacterial cell wall, which is built from alternating units of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and N-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc), cross-linked by oligopeptides at the lactic acid residue of MurNAc.

MurNAc is a monosaccharide derivative of N-acetylglucosamine.

Formation of NAM[edit]

NAM is a combination of N-acetylglucosamine and phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). This addition happens exclusively in the cell cytoplasm.

Clinical significance[edit]

N-Acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc) is part of the peptidoglycan polymer of bacterial cell walls. MurNAc is covalently linked to N-acetylglucosamine and may also be linked through the hydroxyl on carbon number 4 to the carbon of L-alanine. A pentapeptide composed of L-alanyl-D-isoglutaminyl-L-lysyl-D-alanyl-D-alanine is added to the MurNAc in the process of making the peptidoglycan strands of the cell wall.

Synthesis is inhibited by fosfomycin.[1]

NAG and NAM cross-linking can be inhibited by antibiotics to inhibit pathogens from growing within the body. Therefore, both NAG and NAM are valuable polymers in medicinal research.


  1. ^ Grif K, Dierich MP, Pfaller K, Miglioli PA, Allerberger F (2001). "In vitro activity of fosfomycin in combination with various antistaphylococcal substances". Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 48 (2): 209–217. doi:10.1093/jac/48.2.209. PMID 11481290.

See also[edit]