Pathway for lipid A biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana resembling that of Escherichia coli.
The lipid A moiety of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide is a hexa-acylated disaccharide of glucosamine that makes up the outer monolayer of the outer membrane. Arabidopsis thaliana contains nuclear genes encoding orthologs of key enzymes of bacterial lipid A biosynthesis, including LpxA, LpxC, LpxD, LpxB, LpxK and KdtA. Although structurally related lipid A molecules are found in most other gram-negative bacteria, lipid A and its precursors have not been directly detected in plants previously. However, homozygous insertional knockout mutations or RNAi knock-down constructs of Arabidopsis lpx and kdtA mutants revealed accumulation (or disappearance) of the expected monosaccharide or disaccharide lipid A precursors by mass spectrometry of total lipids extracted from 10-day old seedlings of these mutants. In addition, fluorescence microscopy of lpx-gfp fusions in transgenic Arabidopsis plants suggests that the Lpx and KdtA proteins are expressed and targeted to mitochondria. Although the structure of the lipid A end product generated by plants is still unknown, our work demonstrates that plants synthesize lipid A precursors using the same enzymatic pathway present in E. coli.
Li, C; Guan, Z; Liu, D; Raetz, CRH
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