Relaxed sugar donor selectivity of a Sinorhizobium meliloti ortholog of the Rhizobium leguminosarum mannosyl transferase LpcC: Role of the lipopolysaccharide core in symbiosis of Rhizobiaceae with plants

Margaret I. Kanipes, Suzanne R. Kalb, Robert J. Cotter, Daniela F. Hozbor, Antonio Lagares, Christian R.H. Raetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The lpcC gene of Rhizobium leguminosarum and the lpsB gene of Sinorhizobium meliloti encode protein orthologs that are 58% identical over their entire lengths of about 350 amino acid residues. LpcC and LpsB are required for symbiosis with pea and Medicago plants, respectively. S. meliloti lpsB complements a mutant of R. leguminosarum defective in IpcC, but the converse does not occur. LpcC encodes a highly selective mannosyl transferase that utilizes GDP-mannose to glycosylate the inner 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (Kdo) residue of the lipopolysaccharide precursor Kdo2-lipid IVA. We now demonstrate that LpsB can also efficiently mannosylate the same acceptor substrate as does LpcC. Unexpectedly, however, the sugar nucleotide selectivity of LpsB is greatly relaxed compared with that of LpcC. Membranes of the wild-type S. meliloti strain 2011 catalyze the glycosylation of Kdo2-[4′-32P]lipid IVA at comparable rates using a diverse set of sugar nucleotides, including GDP-mannose, ADP-mannose, UDP-glucose, and ADP-glucose. This complex pattern of glycosylation is due entirely to LpsB, since membranes of the S. meliloti lpsB mutant 6963 do not glycosylate Kdo2-[4′-32P]lipid IVA in the presence of any of these sugar nucleotides. Expression of lpsB in E. coli using a T7lac promoter-driven construct results in the appearance of similar multiple glycosyl transferase activities seen in S. meliloti 2011 membranes. Constructs expressing lpcC display only mannosyl transferase activity. We conclude that LpsB, despite its high degree of similarity to LpcC is a much more versatile glycosyltransferase, probably accounting for the inability of lpcC to complement S. meliloti lpsB mutants. Our findings have important implications for the regulation of core glycosylation in S. meliloti and other bacteria containing LpcC orthologs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16365-16371
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume278
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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