|Morrison, M.J.; Imperiali, B.
|Biosynthesis of UDP-N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine in Acinetobacter baumannii: Biochemical characterization and correlation to existing pathways
|Arch Biochem Biophys
|Acetyl transferase; Acinetobacter baumannii; Amino transferase; Bacillosamine; Bacterial O-linked glycosylation; Biosynthesis; Glycosylation; UDP-diNAcBac
|The Gram-negative, opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii has recently captured headlines due to its ability to circumvent current antibiotic therapies. Herein we show that the multi-drug resistant (MDR) AYE strain of A. baumannii contains a gene locus that encodes three enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of the highly-modified bacterial nucleotide sugar, UDP-N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine (UDP-diNAcBac). Previously, this UDP-sugar has been implicated in the pgl pathway of Campylobacter jejuni. Here we report the overexpression, purification, and biochemical characterization of the A. baumannii enzymes WeeK, WeeJ, and WeeI that are responsible for the production of UDP-diNAcBac. We also demonstrate the function of the phosphoglycosyltransferase (WeeH), which transfers the diNAcBac moiety to undecaprenyl-phosphate. UDP-diNAcBac biosynthesis in A. baumannii is also directly compared to the homologous pathways in the pathogens C. jejuni and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This work demonstrates for the first time the ability of A. baumannii to generate the highly-modified, UDP-diNAcBac nucleotide sugar found previously in other bacteria adding to the growing list of pathogens that assemble glycoconjugates including bacillosamine. Additionally, characterization of these pathway enzymes highlights the opportunity for investigating the significance of highly-modified sugars in bacterial pathogenesis.
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