Analysis of putative nonulosonic acid biosynthesis pathways in Archaea reveals a complex evolutionary history

Lina Kandiba, Jerry Eichler

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sialic acids and the other nonulosonic acid sugars, legionaminic acid and pseudaminic acid, are nine carbon-containing sugars that can be detected as components of the glycans decorating proteins and other molecules in Eukarya and Bacteria. Yet, despite the prevalence of N-glycosylation in Archaea and the variety of sugars recruited for the archaeal version of this post-translational modification, only a single report of a nonulosonic acid sugar in an archaeal N-linked glycan has appeared. Hence, to obtain a clearer picture of nonulosonic acid sugar biosynthesis capability in Archaea, 122 sequenced genomes were scanned for the presence of genes involved in the biogenesis of these sugars. The results reveal that while Archaea and Bacteria share a common route of sialic acid biosynthesis, numerous archaeal nonulosonic acid sugar biosynthesis pathway components were acquired from elsewhere via various routes. Still, the limited number of Archaea encoding components involved in the synthesis of nonulosonic acid sugars implies that such saccharides are not major components of glycans in this domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume345
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Lateral gene transfer
  • N-glycosylation
  • Post-translational modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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