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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e35707. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035707. Epub 2012 May 1.

Aeromonas surface glucan attached through the O-antigen ligase represents a new way to obtain UDP-glucose.

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Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Barcelona, Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain.


We previously reported that A. hydrophila GalU mutants were still able to produce UDP-glucose introduced as a glucose residue in their lipopolysaccharide core. In this study, we found the unique origin of this UDP-glucose from a branched α-glucan surface polysaccharide. This glucan, surface attached through the O-antigen ligase (WaaL), is common to the mesophilic Aeromonas strains tested. The Aeromonas glucan is produced by the action of the glycogen synthase (GlgA) and the UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase (GlgC), the latter wrongly indicated as an ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase in the Aeromonas genomes available. The Aeromonas glycogen synthase is able to react with UDP or ADP-glucose, which is not the case of E. coli glycogen synthase only reacting with ADP-glucose. The Aeromonas surface glucan has a role enhancing biofilm formation. Finally, for the first time to our knowledge, a clear preference on behalf of bacterial survival and pathogenesis is observed when choosing to produce one or other surface saccharide molecules to produce (lipopolysaccharide core or glucan).

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