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Biosynthesis of UDP-Xylose. Cloning and characterization of a novel Arabidopsis gene family, UXS, encoding soluble and putative membrane-bound UDP-glucuronic acid decarboxylase isoforms

Harper, A.D., Bar-Peled, M.
Plant physiology 2002 v.130 no.4 pp. 2188-2198
spectral analysis, solubilization, roots, plant proteins, stems, gene expression, membrane proteins, Escherichia coli, Arabidopsis thaliana, complementary DNA, conserved sequences, amino acid sequences, carboxy-lyases, enzyme activity, isozymes, flowers, biochemical pathways, pH, nucleotide sequences, chemical constituents of plants
UDP-xylose (Xyl) is an important sugar donor for the synthesis of glycoproteins, polysaccharides, various metabolites, and oligosaccharides in animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. UDP-Xyl also feedback inhibits upstream enzymes (UDP-glucose [Glc] dehydrogenase, UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, and UDP-GlcA decarboxylase) and is involved in its own synthesis and the synthesis of UDP-arabinose. In plants, biosynthesis of UDP-Xyl is catalyzed by different membrane-bound and soluble UDP-GlcA decarboxylase (UDP-GlcA-DC) isozymes, all of which convert UDP-GlcA to UDP-Xyl. Because synthesis of UDP-Xyl occurs both in the cytosol and in membranes, it is not known which source of UDP-Xyl the different Golgi-localized xylosyltransferases are utilizing. Here, we describe the identification of several distinct Arabidopsis genes (named AtUXS for UDP-Xyl synthase) that encode functional UDP-GlcA-DC isoforms. The Arabidopsis genome contains five UXSgenes and their protein products can be subdivided into three isozyme classes (A-C), one soluble and two distinct putative membrane bound. AtUxs from each class, when expressed in Escherichia coli, generate active UDP-GlcA-DC that converts UDP-GlcA to UDP-Xyl. Members of this gene family have a large conserved C-terminal catalytic domain (approximately 300 amino acids long) and an N-terminal variable domain differing in sequence and size (30-120 amino acids long). Isoforms of class A and B appear to encode putative type II membrane proteins with their catalytic domains facing the lumen (like Golgi-glycosyltransferases) and their N-terminal variable domain facing the cytosol. Uxs class C is likely a cytosolic isoform. The characteristics of the plant Uxs support the hypothesis that unique UDP-GlcA-DCs with distinct subcellular localizations are required for specific xylosylation events.