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FEBS Lett. 1992 Apr 27;301(3):271-6.

The UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 1-carboxyvinyl-transferase of Enterobacter cloacae. Molecular cloning, sequencing of the gene and overexpression of the enzyme.

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Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland.


The UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 1-carboxyvinyltransferase (enolpyruvyltransferase, EC which catalyses the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell-wall peptidoglycan was purified to near homogeneity from Enterobacter cloacae and the NH2-terminal amino-acid sequence determined. Using the polymerase chain reaction a 53-bp DNA fragment was synthesized; this fragment encodes the NH2-terminal sequence of the enzyme. A clone was then isolated which contained an open reading frame of 1257 bp coding for a protein of 419 amino acids. This protein was overexpressed 100-fold in transformed Escherichia coli cells and shown to possess the enolpyruvyltransferase activity. The overall amino-acid sequence of the enolpyruvyltransferase is significantly similar to that of the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase, the only other enzyme known to catalyse the transfer of the enolpyruvate moiety of phosphoenolpyruvate to a substrate.

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