Functional characterization of PmHS1, a Pasteurella multocida heparosan synthase

J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 3;281(44):33192-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M606897200. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


Heparosan synthase 1 (PmHS1) from Pasteurella multocida Type D is a dual action glycosyltransferase enzyme that transfers monosaccharide units from uridine diphospho (UDP) sugar precursors to form the polysaccharide heparosan (N-acetylheparosan), which is composed of alternating (-alpha4-GlcNAc-beta1,4-GlcUA-1-) repeats. We have used molecular genetic means to remove regions nonessential for catalytic activity from the amino- and the carboxyl-terminal regions as well as characterized the functional regions involved in GlcUA-transferase activity and in GlcNAc-transferase activity. Mutation of either one of the two regions containing aspartate-X-aspartate (DXD) residue-containing motifs resulted in complete or substantial loss of heparosan polymerizing activity. However, certain mutant proteins retained only GlcUA-transferase activity while some constructs possessed only GlcNAc-transferase activity. Therefore, it appears that the PmHS1 polypeptide is composed of two types of glycosyltransferases in a single polypeptide as was found for the Pasteurella multocida Type A PmHAS, the hyaluronan synthase that makes the alternating (-beta3-GlcNAc-beta1,4-GlcUA-1-) polymer. However, there is low amino acid similarity between the PmHAS and PmHS1 enzymes, and the relative placement of the GlcUA-transferase and GlcNAc-transferase domains within the two polypeptides is reversed. Even though the monosaccharide compositions of hyaluronan and heparosan are identical, such differences in the sequences of the catalysts are expected because the PmHAS employs only inverting sugar transfer mechanisms whereas PmHS1 requires both retaining and inverting mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Glutamine / genetics
  • Glutamine / metabolism
  • Glycosyltransferases / chemistry
  • Glycosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pasteurella multocida / enzymology*
  • Pasteurella multocida / genetics
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism
  • Uridine Diphosphate / metabolism


  • Glutamine
  • Thioredoxins
  • Uridine Diphosphate
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • heparosan synthase