Identification of an extremely thermostable enzyme with dual sugar-1-phosphate nucleotidylyltransferase activities from an acidothermophilic archaeon, Sulfolobus tokodaii strain 7.
ABSTRACT L-rhamnose is an essential component of the cell wall and plays roles in mediating virulence and adhesion to host tissues in many microorganisms. Glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase (RmlA, EC 220.127.116.11) catalyzes the first reaction of the four-step pathway of L-rhamnose biosynthesis, producing dTDP-D-glucose from dTTP and glucose-1-phosphate. Three RmlA homologues of varying size have been identified in the genome of a thermophilic archaeon, Sulfolobus tokodaii strain 7. In this study, we report the heterologous expression of the largest homologue (a 401 residue-long ST0452 protein) and characterization of its thermostable activity. RmlA enzymatic activity of this protein was detected from 65 to 100 degrees C, with a half-life of 60 min at 95 degrees C and 180 min at 80 degrees C. Analysis of a deletion mutant lacking the 170-residue C-terminal domain indicated that this region has an important role in the thermostability and activity of the protein. Analyses of substrate specificity indicated that the enzymatic activity of the full-length protein is capable of utilizing alpha-D-glucose-1-phosphate and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine-1-phosphate but not alpha-D-glucosamine-1-phosphate. However, the protein is capable of utilizing all four deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates and UTP. Thus, the ST0452 protein is an enzyme containing both glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase activities. This is the first report of a thermostable enzyme with dual sugar-1-phosphate nucleotidylyltransferase activities.