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Koller, Franziska and Lassak, Jürgen (2021): Two RmlC homologs catalyze dTDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-D-glucose epimerization in Pseudomonas putida KT2440. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 11, No. 1, 11991

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L-Rhamnose is an important monosaccharide both as nutrient source and as building block in prokaryotic glycoproteins and glycolipids. Generation of those composite molecules requires activated precursors being provided e. g. in form of nucleotide sugars such as dTDP-beta-L-rhamnose (dTDP-l-Rha). dTDP-L-Rha is synthesized in a conserved 4-step reaction which is canonically catalyzed by the enzymes RmlABCD. An intact pathway is especially important for the fitness of pseudomonads, as dTDP-l-Rha is essential for the activation of the polyproline specific translation elongation factor EF-P in these bacteria. Within the scope of this study, we investigated the dTDP-L-Rha-biosynthesis route of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 with a focus on the last two steps. Bioinformatic analysis in combination with a screening approach revealed that epimerization of dTDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-d-glucose to dTDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-L-mannose is catalyzed by the two paralogous proteins PP_1782 (RmlC1) and PP_0265 (RmlC2), whereas the reduction to the final product is solely mediated by PP_1784 (RmlD). Thus, we also exclude the distinct RmlD homolog PP_0500 and the genetically linked nucleoside diphosphate-sugar epimerase PP_0501 to be involved in dTDP-l-Rha formation, other than suggested by certain databases. Together our analysis contributes to the molecular understanding how this important nucleotide-sugar is synthesized in pseudomonads.

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