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J Bacteriol. 1992 Oct; 174(20): 6479–6487.
PMCID: PMC207608

Identification of an operon involved in sulfolipid biosynthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.


Two new mutants of Rhodobacter sphaeroides deficient in sulfolipid accumulation were isolated by directly screening mutagenized cell lines for polar lipid composition by thin-layer chromatography of lipid extracts. A genomic clone which complemented the mutations in these two lines, but not the previously described sulfolipid-deficient sqdA mutant, was identified. Sequence analysis of the relevant region of the clone revealed three, in tandem open reading frames, designated sqdB, ORF2, and sqdC. One of the mutants was complemented by the sqdB gene, and the other was complemented by the sqdC gene. Insertional inactivation of sqdB also inactivated sqdC, indicating that sqdB and sqdC are cotranscribed. The N-terminal region of the 46-kDa putative protein encoded by the sqdB gene showed slight homology to UDP-glucose epimerase from various organisms. The 30-kDa putative protein encoded by ORF2 showed very striking homology to rabbit muscle glycogenin, a UDP-glucose utilizing, autoglycosylating glycosyltransferase. The 26-kDa putative protein encoded by the sqdC gene was not homologous to any protein of known function.

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