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Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jul;21(2):409-19.

Fucosylation and arabinosylation of Nod factors in Azorhizobium caulinodans: involvement of nolK, nodZ as well as noeC and/or downstream genes.

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Department of Genetics, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Universiteit Gent, Belgium.


The DNA region downstream of the nodABCSUIJ operon of Azorhizobium caulinodans was further characterized and two new genes, nodZ and noeC were identified in the same operon. The A. caulinodans wild-type strain produces a population of Nod factors that, at the reducing end, are either unmodified or carry a D-arabinosyl and/or an L-fucosyl branch. Nod factors produced by Tn5-insertion mutants in nodZ, noeC, and the separate nolK locus, were analysed by thin-layer chromatography and mass spectrometry. Fucosylation of Nod factors depended on both nodZ and nolK. Arabinosylation depended on noeC and/or downstream genes. Protein extracts of A. caulinodans contained an enzymatic activity for fucose transfer from GDP-fucose to chitooligosaccharides and to Nod factors. By mutant analysis and expression of nodZ in Escherichia coli, the fucosyltransferase activity was ascribed to the protein encoded by nodZ. In addition, a Nod factor fucosyltransferase activity, independent of nodZ or other known nod genes, was detected in A. caulinodans. Finally, on the basis of sequence similarity of the nolK gene product, and mass spectrometric analysis of Nod factors produced by a nolK mutant, we propose that this gene is involved in the synthesis of GDP-fucose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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