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Biosynthetic elongation of isolated teichuronic acid polymers via glucosyl- and N-acetylmannosaminuronosyltransferases from solubilized cytoplasmic membrane fragments of Micrococcus luteus.

  • K M Hildebrandt
  • J S Anderson
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1990


Cytoplasmic membrane fragments of Micrococcus luteus catalyze in vitro biosynthesis of teichuronic acid from uridine diphosphate D-glucose (UDP-glucose), uridine diphosphate N-acetyl-D-mannosaminuronic acid (UDP-ManNAcA), and uridine diphosphate N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Membrane fragments solubilized with Thesit (dodecyl alcohol polyoxyethylene ether) can utilize UDP-glucose and UDP-ManNAcA to effect elongation of teichuronic acid isolated from native cell walls. When UDP-glucose is the only substrate supplied, the detergent-solubilized glucosyltransferase incorporates a single glucosyl residue onto each teichuronic acid acceptor. When both UDP-glucose and UDP-ManNAcA are supplied, the glucosyltransferase and the N-acetylmannosaminuronosyltransferase act cooperatively to elongate the teichuronic acid acceptor by multiple additions of the disaccharide repeat unit. As shown by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, low-molecular-weight fractions of teichuronic acid are converted to higher-molecular-weight polymers by the addition of as many as 17 disaccharide repeat units.

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