Identification, expression, and DNA sequence of the GDP-mannose biosynthesis genes encoded by the O7 rfb gene cluster of strain VW187 (Escherichia coli O7:K1)

C L Marolda, M A Valvano

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The O7-specific lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in strains of Escherichia coli consists of a repeating unit made of galactose, mannose, rhamnose, 4-acetamido-2,6-dideoxyglucose, and N-acetylglucosamine. We have recently cloned and characterized genetically the O7-specific LPS biosynthesis region (rfbEcO7) of the E. coli O7:K1 strain VW187 (C. L. Marolda, J. Welsh, L. Dafoe, and M. A. Valvano, J. Bacteriol. 172:3590-3599, 1990). In this study, we localized the gnd gene encoding gluconate-6-phosphate dehydrogenase at one end of the rfbEcO7 gene cluster and sequenced that end of the cluster. Three open reading frames (ORF) encoding polypeptides of 275, 464, and 453 amino acids were identified upstream of gndEcO7, all transcribed toward the gnd gene. ORF275 had 45% similarity at the protein level with ORF16.5, which occupies a similar position in the Salmonella enterica LT2 rfb region, and presumably encodes a nucleotide sugar transferase. The polypeptides encoded by ORFs 464 and 453 were expressed under the control of the ptac promoter and visualized in Coomassie blue-stained sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels and by maxicell analysis. ORF464 expressed GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase and ORF453 encoded a phosphomannomutase, the enzymes for the biosynthesis pathway of GDP-mannose, one of the nucleotide sugar precursors for the formation of the O7 repeating unit. They were designated rfbMEcO7 and rfbKEcO7, respectively. The RfbMEcO7 polypeptide was homologous to the corresponding protein in S. enterica LT2, XanB of Xanthomonas campestris, and AlgA of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, all GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylases. RfbKEcO7 was very similar to CpsG of S. enterica LT2, an enzyme presumably involved in the biosynthesis of the capsular polysaccharide colanic acid, but quite different from the corresponding RfbK protein of S. enterica LT2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-58
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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