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PloS one

MKAN27435 is required for the biosynthesis of higher subclasses of lipooligosaccharides in Mycobacterium kansasii.


PMID 25893968

Abstract

Lipooligosaccharides are glycolipids found in the cell wall of many mycobacterial species including the opportunistic pathogen Mycobacterium kansasii. The genome of M. kansasii ATCC12478 contains a cluster with genes orthologous to Mycobacterium marinum LOS biosynthesis genes. To initiate a genetic dissection of this cluster and demonstrate its role in LOS biosynthesis in M. kansasii, we chose MKAN27435, a gene encoding a putative glycosyltransferase. Using Specialized Transduction, a phage-based gene knockout tool previously used to generate null mutants in other mycobacteria, we generated a MKAN27435 null mutant. The mutant strain was found to be defective in the biosynthesis of higher LOS subspecies, viz LOS-IV, LOS-V, LOS-VI and LOS-VII. Additionally, a range of low abundance species were detected in the mutant strain and mass spectroscopic analysis indicated that these were shunt products generated from LOS-III by the addition of up to six molecules of a pentose.

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