Pen and Pal are nucleotide-sugar-dehydratases that convert UDP-GlcNAc to UDP-6-deoxy-D-GlcNAc-5,6-ene and then to UDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-L-AltNAc for CMP-pseudaminic acid synthesis in Bacillus thuringiensis [Enzymology]

November 20th, 2014 by Li, Z., Hwang, S., Ericson, J., Bowler, K., Bar-Peled, M.

CMP-pseudaminic acid is a precursor required for the O-glycosylation of flagellin in some pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, a process known to be critical in bacterial motility and infection. However, little is known about flagellin glycosylation in Gram-positive bacteria. Here, we identified and functionally characterized an operon, named Bti_pse, in Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis ATCC 35646, which encodes seven different enzymes that together convert UDP-GlcNAc to CMP-pseudaminic acid. In contrast, Gram-negative bacteria complete this reaction with six enzymes. The first enzyme, which we named Pen, converts UDP-D-GlcNAc to an uncommon UDP-sugar, UDP-6-deoxy-D-GlcNAc-5,6-ene. Pen contains strongly bound NADP+ and has distinct UDP-GlcNAc 4-oxidase, 5,6-dehydratase, and 4-reductase activities. The second enzyme, which we named Pal, converts UDP-6-deoxy-D-GlcNAc-5,6-ene to UDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-L-AltNAc. Pal is NAD+-dependent and has distinct UDP-6-deoxy-D-GlcNAc-5,6-ene 4-oxidase, 5,6-reductase, and 5-epimerase activities. We also show here using NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry that in B. thuringiensis, the enzymatic product of Pen and Pal, UDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-L-AltNAc, is converted to CMP-pseudaminic acid by the sequential activities of a C4"-transaminase (Pam), a 4-N-acetyltransferase (Pdi), a UDP-hydrolase (Phy), an enzyme (Ppa) that adds phosphoenolpyruvate to form pseudaminic acid, and finally a cytidylyltransferase that condenses CTP to generate CMP-pseudaminic acid. Knowledge of the distinct dehydratase-like enzymes Pen and Pal and their role in CMP-pseudaminic acid biosynthesis in Gram-positive bacteria provides a foundation to investigate the role of pseudaminic acid and flagellin glycosylation in Bacillus and their involvement in bacterial motility and pathogenicity.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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