The enterohemorrhagic O157 strain of Escherichia coli, which is one of the most well-known bacterial pathogens, has an O-antigen repeating unit structure with the sequence [-2-d-Rha4NAcα1-3-l-Fucα1-4-d-Glcβ1-3-d-GalNAcα1-]. The O-antigen gene cluster of E. coli O157 contains the genes responsible for the assembly of this repeating unit and includes wbdN. In spite of cloning many O-antigen genes, biochemical characterization has been done on very few enzymes involved in O-antigen synthesis. In this work, we expressed the wbdN gene in E. coli BL21, and the His-tagged protein was purified. WbdN activity was characterized using the donor substrate UDP-[14C]Glc and the synthetic acceptor substrate GalNAcα-O-PO3-PO3-(CH2)11-O-Ph. The enzyme product was isolated by high pressure liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry showed that one Glc residue was transferred to the acceptor by WbdN. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the product structure indicated that Glc was β1-3 linked to GalNAc. WbdN contains a conserved DxD motif and requires divalent metal ions for full activity. WbdN activity has an optimal pH between 7 and 8 and is highly specific for UDP-Glc as the donor substrate. GalNAcα derivatives lacking the diphosphate group were inactive as substrates, and the enzyme did not transfer Glc to GlcNAcα-O-PO3-PO3-(CH2)11-O-Ph. Our results illustrate that WbdN is a specific UDP-Glc:GalNAcα-diphosphate-lipid β1,3-Glc-transferase. The enzyme is a target for the development of inhibitors to block O157-antigen synthesis.
Yin Gao; Bin Liu; Scott Strum; John S Schutzbach; Tatyana N Druzhinina; Natalia S Utkina; Vladimir I Torgov; Leonid L Danilov; Vladimir V Veselovsky; Jason Z Vlahakis; Walter A Szarek; Lei Wang; Inka Brockhausen
Bacterial heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins signal through tightly regulated interactions with host cell gangliosides. LT-IIa and LT-IIb of Escherichia coli bind preferentially to gangliosides with a NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-3GalNAc terminus, with key distinctions in specificity. LT-IIc, a newly discove ... more
Phosphate deficiency is characteristic for many natural habitats, resulting in different physiological responses in plants and bacteria including the replacement of phospholipids by glycolipids and other phosphorous-free lipids. The plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, whi ... more
A tryptophan side chain was introduced into subsite +1 of family GH-18 (class V) chitinases from Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana (NtChiV and AtChiC, respectively) by the mutation of a glycine residue to tryptophan (G74W-NtChiV and G75W-AtChiC). The specific activity toward glyco ... more