Exploring the substrate specificity of a mycobacterial polyprenol monophosphomannose-dependent alpha-(1-->6)-mannosyltransferase

PH Tam, Gurdyal Besra, TL Lowary

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18 Citations (Scopus)


A series of synthetic alpha-(1-->6)-linked octyl mannopyranoside oligomers was evaluated as potential acceptors of a polyprenol monophosphomannose-dependent alpha-(1-->6)-mannosyltransferase that is involved in the biosynthesis of the mannan core of mycobacterial lipoarabinomannan. Initial evaluation demonstrated that the enzyme recognizes di-, tri- and tetramannosides (5, 6 and 7) as substrates with different activities. While the highest mannosyltransferase activities were observed when the di- and trisaccharide were used as substrates, diminished enzymatic activity was seen with the tetramannoside. As octyl alpha-D-mannopyranosyl-(1-->6)-alpha-D-mannopyranoside (5) appears to be the minimum structural element required for mannosyltransferase catalysis, a panel of methoxy and deoxy disaccharide analogues (8-21) were used to probe the substrate specificity of the enzyme further. In terms of the steric requirements at the active site, the enzyme does not recognize either C2'- and C2-methoxy analogues as substrates, a result that suggests that the alpha-(1-->2)-mannopyranosyl branches, which are present in the mannan core of LAM must be added on a larger alpha-(1-->6)-oligomannan intermediate. In contrast, the presence of a methoxy functionality at the C3', C3, C4' and C4 positions are somewhat tolerated by the enzyme, although diminished enzyme activities were observed with the C4'- and C4-methoxy analogues. Moreover, the 2'- and 4-hydroxyl groups appear not to be critical for substrate binding at the active site, as both 2'- and 4-deoxy analogues are substrates for the enzyme. In contrast, replacement of the hydroxyl groups at other positions essentially abolished enzymatic activity. Further kinetic characterization of the enzyme by using the effective acceptor substrates gave apparent K(M) values ranging from 111 to 437 microM, which are within two-fold higher or lower than that for the parent dimannoside (5). Although the K(M) values indicate that the enzyme binds those acceptors with comparable affinities, the C4'-methoxy analogue (12) turns over more slowly than the others, as indicated by the apparent V(max) values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-78
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2008


  • mycobacteria
  • glycosylation
  • enzyme kinetics
  • carbohydrates
  • mannosyltransferase


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