Glucosylglycerate biosynthesis in the deepest lineage of the Bacteria: characterization of the thermophilic proteins GpgS and GpgP from Persephonella marina

J Bacteriol. 2007 Mar;189(5):1648-54. doi: 10.1128/JB.00841-06. Epub 2006 Dec 22.


The pathway for the synthesis of glucosylglycerate (GG) in the thermophilic bacterium Persephonella marina is proposed based on the activities of recombinant glucosyl-3-phosphoglycerate (GPG) synthase (GpgS) and glucosyl-3-phosphoglycerate phosphatase (GpgP). The sequences of gpgS and gpgP from the cold-adapted bacterium Methanococcoides burtonii were used to identify the homologues in the genome of P. marina, which were separately cloned and overexpressed as His-tagged proteins in Escherichia coli. The recombinant GpgS protein of P. marina, unlike the homologue from M. burtonii, which was specific for GDP-glucose, catalyzed the synthesis of GPG from UDP-glucose, GDP-glucose, ADP-glucose, and TDP-glucose (in order of decreasing efficiency) and from d-3-phosphoglycerate, with maximal activity at 90 degrees C. The recombinant GpgP protein, like the M. burtonii homologue, dephosphorylated GPG and mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate (MPG) to GG and mannosylglycerate, respectively, yet at high temperatures the hydrolysis of GPG was more efficient than that of MPG. Gel filtration indicates that GpgS is a dimeric protein, while GpgP is monomeric. This is the first characterization of genes and enzymes for the synthesis of GG in a thermophile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Catalysis
  • Glucosides / biosynthesis*
  • Glyceric Acids / metabolism*
  • Guanosine Diphosphate Sugars / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / physiology
  • Phylogeny


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Glucosides
  • Glyceric Acids
  • Guanosine Diphosphate Sugars
  • guanosine diphosphate glucose
  • 3-phosphoglycerate
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate phosphatase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • phosphoglycerate phosphatase