ArnT proteins that catalyse the glycosylation of lipopolysaccharide share common features with bacterial N-oligosaccharyltransferases

Faviola Tavares-Carreón, Yasmine Fathy Mohamed, Angel Andrade, Miguel A. Valvano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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ArnT is a glycosyltransferase that catalyses the addition of 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinose (L-Ara4N) to the lipid A moiety of the lipopolysaccharide. This is a critical modification enabling bacteria to resist killing by antimicrobial peptides. ArnT is an integral inner membrane protein consisting of 13 predicted transmembrane helices and a large periplasmic C-terminal domain. We report here the identification of a functional motif with a canonical consensus sequence DEXRYAX(5)MX(3)GXWX(9)YFEKPX(4)W spanning the first periplasmic loop, which is highly conserved in all ArnT proteins examined. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated the contribution of this motif in ArnT function, suggesting that these proteins have a common mechanism. We also demonstrate that the Burkholderia cenocepacia and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ArnT C-terminal domain is required for polymyxin B resistance in vivo. Deletion of the C-terminal domain in B. cenocepacia ArnT resulted in a protein with significantly reduced in vitro binding to a lipid A fluorescent substrate and unable to catalyse lipid A modification with L-Ara4N. An in silico predicted structural model of ArnT strongly resembled the tertiary structure of Campylobacter lari PglB, a bacterial oligosaccharyltransferase involved in protein N-glycosylation. Therefore, distantly related oligosaccharyltransferases from ArnT and PglB families operating on lipid and polypeptide substrates, respectively, share unexpected structural similarity that could not be predicted from direct amino acid sequence comparisons. We propose that lipid A and protein glycosylation enzymes share a conserved catalytic mechanism despite their evolutionary divergence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-300
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Early online date29 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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