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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jun;1764(6):1036-42. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Functional characterization of the glycosyltransferase domain of penicillin-binding protein 1a from Thermotoga maritima.

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  • 1Architecture et Fonction des MacromolĂ©cules Biologiques, Case 932, Campus de Luminy, F13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.


Class A penicillin-binding proteins (A-PBPs) are high-molecular weight membrane-bound bifunctional enzymes that catalyze the penicillin-sensitive transpeptidation and transglycosylation reaction steps involved in peptidoglycan assembling. We have over-expressed and characterized a soluble form of the glycosyltransferase domain of PBP1a (GT-PBP1a*) from the hyperthermophilic bacteria Thermotoga maritima. GT-PBP1a* efficiently catalyses peptidoglycan biosynthesis, as shown using an in vitro biosynthetized dansylated-lipid II substrate and a HPLC-coupled assay, and is specifically inhibited by moenomycin. GT-PBP1a* tends to spontaneously aggregate in detergent-free solution, a feature that supports existence of a secondary site for membrane association, distinct from the N-terminal transmembrane anchoring region. Overall, our preliminary data document the biochemical properties of GT-PBP1a* and should guide further studies aimed at deciphering the structural determinants involved into membrane binding by this class of enzymes.

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