Polysaccharide co-polymerases: the enigmatic conductors of the O-antigen assembly orchestra

Sergei Kalynych, Miguel A Valvano, Miroslaw Cygler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The O-antigen lipopolysaccharides on bacterial surface contain variable number of oligosaccharide repeat units with their length having a modal distribution specific to the bacterial strain. The polysaccharide length distribution is controlled by the proteins called polysaccharide co-polymerases (PCPs), which are embedded in the inner membrane in Gram-negative bacteria and form homo oligomers. The 3D structures of periplasmic domains of several PCPs have been determined and provided the first insights into the possible mechanism of polysaccharide length determination mechanism. Here we review the current knowledge of structure and function of these polysaccharide length regulators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalProtein engineering, design & selection : PEDS
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Biology

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