Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2009 Aug 7;284(32):21526-35. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.014761. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Identification of galacturonic acid-1-phosphate kinase, a new member of the GHMP kinase superfamily in plants, and comparison with galactose-1-phosphate kinase.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


The process of salvaging sugars released from extracellular matrix, during plant cell growth and development, is not well understood, and many molecular components remain to be identified. Here we identify and functionally characterize a unique Arabidopsis gene encoding an alpha-d-galacturonic acid-1-phosphate kinase (GalAK) and compare it with galactokinase. The GalAK gene appeared to be expressed in all tissues implicating that glycose salvage is a common catabolic pathway. GalAK catalyzes the ATP-dependent conversion of alpha-d-galacturonic acid (d-GalA) to alpha-d-galacturonic acid-1-phosphate (GalA-1-P). This sugar phosphate is then converted to UDP-GalA by a UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase as determined by a real-time (1)H NMR-based assay. GalAK is a distinct member of the GHMP kinase family that includes galactokinase (G), homoserine kinase (H), mevalonate kinase (M), and phosphomevalonate kinase (P). Although these kinases have conserved motifs for sugar binding, nucleotide binding, and catalysis, they do have subtle difference. For example, GalAK has an additional domain near the sugar-binding motif. Using site-directed mutagenesis we established that mutation in A368S reduces phosphorylation activity by 40%; A41E mutation completely abolishes GalAK activity; Y250F alters sugar specificity and allows phosphorylation of d-glucuronic acid, the 4-epimer of GalA. Unlike many plant genes that undergo duplication, GalAK occurs as a single copy gene in vascular plants. We suggest that GalAK generates GalA-1-P from the salvaged GalA that is released during growth-dependent cell wall restructuring, or from storage tissue. The GalA-1-P itself is then available for use in the formation of UDP-GalA required for glycan synthesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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