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Biochemistry. 1998 Oct 13;37(41):14369-75.

Evolution of enzymatic activities in the enolase superfamily: characterization of the (D)-glucarate/galactarate catabolic pathway in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 61801, USA.


The genes encoding the enzymes in the (D)-glucarate/galactarate catabolic pathway have been identified in the Escherichia coli genome. These encode, in three transcriptional units, (D)-glucarate dehydratase (GlucD), galactarate dehydratase, 5-keto-4-deoxy-(D)-glucarate aldolase, tartronate semialdehyde reductase, a glycerate kinase that generates 2-phosphoglycerate as product, and two hexaric acid transporters. We also have identified a gene proximal to that encoding GlucD that encodes a protein that is 72% identical in primary sequence to GlucD (GlucD-related protein or GlucDRP). However, whereas GlucD catalyzes the efficient dehydration of both (D)-glucarate and (L)-idarate as well as their epimerization, GlucDRP is significantly impaired in both reactions. Perhaps GlucDRP is an example of gene duplication and evolution in progress in the E. coli chromosome.

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