Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2004 Oct 15;279(42):43540-6. Epub 2004 Aug 4.

Inactivation of the mycobacterial rhamnosyltransferase, which is needed for the formation of the arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan linker, leads to irreversible loss of viability.

Author information

  • 1Chugai Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Temperature-sensitive mutant 2-20/32 of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc(2)155 was isolated and genetically complemented with a Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv DNA fragment that contained a single open reading frame. This open reading frame is designated Rv3265c in the M. tuberculosis H37Rv genome. Rv3265c shows homology to the Escherichia coli gene wbbL, which encodes a dTDP-Rha:alpha-D-GlcNAc-pyrophosphate polyprenol, alpha-3-L-rhamnosyltransferase. In E. coli this enzyme is involved in O-antigen synthesis, but in mycobacteria it is required for the rhamnosyl-containing linker unit responsible for the attachment of the cell wall polymer mycolyl-arabinogalactan to the peptidoglycan. The M. tuberculosis wbbL homologue, encoded by Rv3265c, was shown to be capable of restoring an E. coli K12 strain containing an insertionally inactivated wbbL to O-antigen positive. Likewise, the E. coli wbbL gene allowed 2-20/32 to grow at higher non-permissive temperatures. The rhamnosyltransferase activity of M. tuberculosis WbbL was demonstrated in 2-20/32 as was the loss of this transferase activity in 2-20/32 at elevated temperatures. The wbbL of the temperature-sensitive mutant contained a single-base change that converted what was a proline in mc(2)155 to a serine residue. Exposure of 2-20/32 to higher non-permissive temperatures resulted in bacteria that could not be recovered at the lower permissive temperatures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk