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Title: Synthesis of UDP-apiose in Bacteria: The marine phototroph Geminicoccus roseus and the plant pathogen Xanthomonas pisi

The branched-chain sugar apiose was widely assumed to be synthesized only by plant species. In plants, apiose-containing polysaccharides are found in vascularized plant cell walls as the pectic polymers rhamnogalacturonan II and apiogalacturonan. Apiosylated secondary metabolites are also common in many plant species including ancestral avascular bryophytes and green algae. Apiosyl-residues have not been documented in bacteria. In a screen for new bacterial glycan structures, we detected small amounts of apiose in methanolic extracts of the aerobic phototroph Geminicoccus roseus and the pathogenic soil-dwelling bacteria Xanthomonas pisi. Apiose was also present in the cell pellet of X. pisi. Examination of these bacterial genomes uncovered genes with relatively low protein homology to plant UDP-apiose/UDP-xylose synthase (UAS). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these bacterial UAS-like homologs belong in a clade distinct to UAS and separated from other nucleotide sugar biosynthetic enzymes. Recombinant expression of three bacterial UAS-like proteins demonstrates that they actively convert UDP-glucuronic acid to UDP-apiose and UDP-xylose. Both UDP-apiose and UDP-xylose were detectable in cell cultures of G. roseus and X. pisi. We could not, however, definitively identify the apiosides made by these bacteria, but the detection of apiosides coupled with the in vivo transcription of bUAS and production of UDP-apiosemore » clearly demonstrate that these microbes have evolved the ability to incorporate apiose into glycans during their lifecycles. While this is the first report to describe enzymes for the formation of activated apiose in bacteria, the advantage of synthesizing apiose-containing glycans in bacteria remains unknown. The characteristics of bUAS and its products are discussed.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) and Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC), Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Dept. of Plant Biology
  3. Dong-A Univ. (Republic of Korea)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-93ER20097; FG02-12ER16324
Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1465791