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FEBS Lett. 1994 Jan 17;337(3):289-92.

The novel hexapeptide motif found in the acyltransferases LpxA and LpxD of lipid A biosynthesis is conserved in various bacteria.

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Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Two bacterial acyltransferases (LpxA of Escherichia coli, LpxD of E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium) have previously been shown to consist of a very unusual tandem-repeat structure with tens of repeating hexapeptides (24 hexapeptides in LpxA, 26 in LpxD). By sequencing LpxD of Yersinia enterocolitica (a distant relative of E. coli and S. typhimurium within Enterobacteriaceae) as well as LpxA of S. typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica, and by analyzing the existing data on these enzymes of Ricketsia rickettsii, it was now shown that the hexapeptide repeat pattern is a very conservative property of these enzymes. Even though the overall homology (allowing equivalent amino acids) between the four proteins was only 59% in LpxA and 58% in LpxD, the homology in the first residue of each hexapeptide was 87% in LpxA and 100% in LpxD. Secondary structure prediction by PredictProtein server suggested a very strong beta strand dominance in all the hexad regions. Accordingly, LpxA and LpxD of various bacterial origins can now be regarded as structurally very unusual enzymes, largely consisting of hexad repeats.

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