PMID: 9692181Jan 1, 1997Paper

Biosynthetic origin of mycobacterial cell wall galactofuranosyl residues

Tubercle and Lung Disease : the Official Journal of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
A WestonM McNeil


Mycobacterial galactofuran is essential to the linking of the peptidoglycan and mycolic acid cell wall layers. Galactofuran biosynthesis should thus be essential for viability. The objective was to determine the pathway of galactofuranosyl biosynthesis and to clone a gene encoding an essential enzyme necessary for its formation. Specific enzymatic conversions involved in formation of galactopyranose and galactofuranose residues in other bacteria were tested for in Mycobacterium smegmatis. M. tuberculosis deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was identified by homology. It was shown that the de novo synthesis of the galactose carbon skeleton occurred in M. smegmatis by the transformation of UDP-glucopyranose to UDP-galactopyranose via the enzyme UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (E.C. The N-terminal sequence of this enzyme was obtained after purification. The galactose salvage pathway enzyme, UDP-glucose-galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (E.C., was also shown to be present. The critical biosynthetic transformation of the galactopyranose to galactofuranose ring form was shown to occur at the sugar nucleotide level via the enzyme UDP-galactopyranose mutase (E.C. The M. tuberculosis DNA encoding this enzyme was s...Continue Reading


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