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Biosynthesis of d-arabinose in Mycobacterium smegmatis: specific labeling from d-glucose

, : Biosynthesis of d-arabinose in Mycobacterium smegmatis: specific labeling from d-glucose. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 398(2): 229-239

d-Arabinose is a major sugar in the cell wall polysaccharides of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial species. The reactions involved in the biosynthesis and activation of d-arabinose represent excellent potential sites for drug intervention since d-arabinose is not found in mammalian cells, and the cell wall arabinomannan and/or arabinogalactan appear to be essential for cell survival. Since the pathway involved in conversion of d-glucose to d-arabinose is unknown, we incubated cells of Mycobacterium smegmatis individually with [1-(14)C]glucose, [3,4-(14)C]glucose, and [6-(14)C]glucose and compared the specific activities of the cell wall-bound arabinose. Although the specific activity of the arabinose was about 25% lower with [6-(14)C]glucose than with other labels, there did not appear to be selective loss of either carbon 1 or carbon 6, suggesting that arabinose was not formed by loss of carbon 1 of glucose via the oxidative step of the pentose phosphate pathway, or by loss of carbon 6 in the uronic acid pathway. Similar labeling patterns were observed with ribose isolated from the nucleic acid fraction. Since these results suggested an unusual pathway of pentose formation, labeling studies were also done with [1-(13)C]glucose, [2-(13)C]glucose, and [6-(13)C]glucose and the cell wall arabinose was examined by NMR analysis. This method allows one to determine the relative (13)C content in each carbon of the arabinose. The labeling patterns suggested that the most likely pathway was condensation of carbons 1 and 2 of fructose 6-phosphate produced by the transaldolase reaction with carbons 4, 5, and 6 (i.e., glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate) formed by fructose-1,6 bisphosphate aldolase. Cell-free enzyme extracts of M. smegmatis were incubated with ribose 5-phosphate, xylulose 5-phosphate, and d-arabinose 5-phosphate under a variety of experimental conditions. Although the ribose 5-phosphate and xylulose 5-phosphate were converted to other pentoses and hexoses, no arabinose 5-phosphate (or free arabinose) was detected in any of these reactions. In addition, these enzyme extracts did not convert arabinose 5-phosphate to any other pentose or hexose. In addition, incubation of [(14)C]glucose 6-phosphate and various nucleoside triphosphates (ATP, CTP, GTP, TTP, and UTP) with cytosolic or membrane fractions from the mycobacterial cells did not result in formation of a nucleotide form of arabinose, although other radioactive sugars including rhamnose and galactose were found in the nucleotide fraction. Furthermore, no radioactive arabinose was found in the nucleotide fraction isolated from M. smegmatis cells grown in [(3)H]glucose, nor was arabinose detected in a large-scale extraction of the sugar nucleotide fraction from 300 g of cells. The logical conclusion from these studies is that d-arabinose is probably produced from d-ribose by epimerization of carbon 2 of the ribose moiety of polyprenylphosphate-ribose to form polyprenylphosphate-arabinose, which is then used as the precursor for formation of arabinosyl polymers.


PMID: 11831854

DOI: 10.1006/abbi.2001.2723

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