Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17640872
J. Biol. Chem. 2007 Sep;282(37):27270-6
Mycobacteria produce two unusual polymethylated polysaccharides, the 6-O-methylglucosyl-containing lipopolysaccharides (MGLP) and the 3-O-methylmannose polysaccharides, which have been shown to regulate fatty acid biosynthesis in vitro. A cluster of genes dedicated to the synthesis of MGLP was identified in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Overexpression of the putative glycosyltransferase gene Rv3032 in M. smegmatis greatly stimulated MGLP production, whereas the targeted disruption of Rv3032 in M. tuberculosis and that of the putative methyltransferase gene MSMEG2349 in M. smegmatis resulted in a dramatic reduction in the amounts of MGLP synthesized and in the accumulation of precursors of these molecules. Disruption of Rv3032 also led to a significant decrease in the glycogen content of the tubercle bacillus, indicating that the product of this gene is likely to be involved in the elongation of more than one alpha-(1–>4)-glucan in this bacterium. Results thus suggest that Rv3032 encodes the alpha-(1–>4)-glucosyltransferase responsible for the elongation of MGLP, whereas MSMEG2349 encodes the O-methyltransferase required for the 6-O-methylation of these compounds.