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

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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