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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Aug 15;189(2):135-41.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa B-band lipopolysaccharide genes wbpA and wbpI and their Escherichia coli homologues wecC and wecB are not functionally interchangeable.

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Center for Infection and Biomaterials Research, Toronto General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


The O antigen unit of Pseudomonas aeruginosa serotype O5 is a complex trisaccharide containing 2-acetamido-3-acetiminido-2, 3-dideoxy-beta-D-mannuronic acid, 2-acetimido-3-acetimido-2, 3-dideoxy-beta-D-mannuronic acid, and 2-acetimido-2, 6-deoxy-beta-D-galactosamine. Specific knockout mutations in the putative UDP-D-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-D-GlcNAc) epimerase gene, wbpI, or the putative UDP-D-N-acetylmannosamine dehydrogenase gene, wbpA, resulted in strains that no longer produced B-band lipopolysaccharide, confirming the essential roles of these genes in B-band O antigen synthesis. Despite approximately 50% similarity of wbpI and wbpA to the Escherichia coli genes wecB (rffE) and wecC (rffD) involved in enterobacterial common antigen synthesis, cross-complementation experiments were not successful. These results imply that the P. aeruginosa UDP-D-GlcNAc precursor may be di-N-acetylated prior to further modification, preventing the E. coli enzymes from recognizing it as a substrate.

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