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The K1 capsule is an essential virulence determinant of Escherichia coli strains that cause meningitis in neonates. Biosynthesis and transport of the capsule, an alpha-2,8-linked polymer of sialic acid, are encoded by the 17-kb kps gene cluster. We deleted neuC, a K1 gene implicated in sialic acid synthesis, from the chromosome of EV36, a K-12-K1 hybrid, by(More)
Bacterial UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase catalyzes the reversible epimerization at C-2 of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and thereby provides bacteria with UDP-N-acetylmannosamine (UDP-ManNAc), the activated donor of ManNAc residues. ManNAc is critical for several processes in bacteria, including formation of the antiphagocytic capsular(More)
Bacterial UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UDPGlcDH) is essential for formation of the antiphagocytic capsule that protects many virulent bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes andStreptococcus pneumoniae type 3 from the host's immune system. We have determined the X-ray structures of both native and Cys260Ser UDPGlcDH from S. pyogenes (74% similarity to S.(More)
UDP-glucuronic acid is used by many pathogenic bacteria in the construction of an antiphagocytic capsule that is required for virulence. The enzyme UDP-glucose dehydrogenase catalyzes the NAD+-dependent 2-fold oxidation of UDP-glucose and provides a source of the acid. In the present study the recombinant dehydrogenase from group A streptococci has been(More)
The sialic acids are a family of nine carbon alpha-keto acids that play a wide variety of biological roles in nature. In mammals, they are found at the distal ends of cell surface glycoconjugates, and thus are major determinants of cellular recognition and adhesion events. In certain strains of pathogenic bacteria, they are found in capsular polysaccharides(More)
Legionaminic acid is a nine-carbon alpha-keto acid that is similar in structure to other members of the sialic acid family that includes neuraminic acid and pseudaminic acid. It is found as a component of the lipopolysaccharide in several bacterial species and is perhaps best known for its presence in the O-antigen of the causative agent of Legionnaires'(More)
L-Ribulose-5-phosphate (L-Ru5P) 4-epimerase and L-fuculose-1-phosphate (L-Fuc1P) aldolase are evolutionarily related enzymes that display 26% sequence identity and a very high degree of structural similarity. They both employ a divalent cation in the formation and stabilization of an enolate during catalysis, and both are able to deprotonate the C-4(More)
Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the main causes of bacterial diarrhea worldwide, and Helicobacter pylori is known to cause duodenal ulcers. In all of these pathogenic organisms, the flagellin proteins are heavily glycosylated with a 2-keto-3-deoxy acid, pseudaminic acid (5,7-diacetamido-3,5,7,9-tetradeoxy-L-glycero-L-manno-nonulosonic acid).(More)
Glutamate racemase, MurI, catalyzes the interconversion of glutamate enantiomers in a cofactor-independent fashion and provides bacteria with a source of D-Glu for use in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. The enzyme uses a "two-base" mechanism involving a deprotonation of the substrate at the alpha-position to form an anionic intermediate, followed by a(More)
L-fucose, 6-deoxy-L-galactose, is a key component of many important glycoconjugates including the blood group antigens and the Lewis(X) ligands. The biosynthesis of GDP-L-fucose begins with the action of a dehydratase that converts GDP-D-mannose into GDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-mannose. The enzyme GDP-fucose synthase, GFS, (also known as GDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-D-mannose(More)