Expression cloning of three Rhizobium leguminosarum lipopolysaccharide core galacturonosyltransferases.
The lipid A and core regions of the lipopolysaccharide in Rhizobium leguminosarum, a nitrogen-fixing plant endosymbiont, are strikingly different from those of Escherichia coli. In R. leguminosarum lipopolysaccharide, the inner core is modified with three galacturonic acid (GalA) moieties, two on the distal 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (Kdo) unit and one on the mannose residue. Here we describe the expression cloning of three novel GalA transferases from a 22-kb R. leguminosarum genomic DNA insert-containing cosmid (pSGAT). Two of these enzymes modify the substrate, Kdo2-[4'-(32)P]lipid IV(A) and its 1-dephosphorylated derivative on the distal Kdo residue, as indicated by mild acid hydrolysis. The third enzyme modifies the mannose unit of the substrate mannosyl-Kdo2-1-dephospho-[4'-(32)P]lipid IV(A). Sequencing of a 7-kb subclone derived from pSGAT revealed three putative membrane-bound glycosyltransferases, now designated RgtA, RgtB, and RgtC. Transfer by tri-parental mating of these genes into Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, a strain that lacks these particular GalA residues, results in the heterologous expression of the GalA transferase activities seen in membranes of cells expressing pSGAT. Reconstitution experiments with the individual genes demonstrated that the activity of RgtA precedes and is necessary for the subsequent activity of RgtB, which is followed by the activity of RgtC. Electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry and gas-liquid chromatography of the product generated in vitro by RgtA confirmed the presence of a GalA moiety. No in vitro activity was detected when RgtA was expressed in Escherichia coli unless Rhizobiaceae membranes were also included.
Kanjilal-Kolar, S; Basu, SS; Kanipes, MI; Guan, Z; Garrett, TA; Raetz, CRH
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