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Biochemistry Research International
Volume 2010, Article ID 395758, 8 pages
Research Article

The Cell Wall Teichuronic Acid Synthetase (TUAS) Is an Enzyme Complex Located in the Cytoplasmic Membrane of Micrococcus luteus

1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
2Research Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA
3Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 650 Albany Street, X-Rm808, Boston, MA 02118, USA
4St. Jude Medical, Inc., St. Paul, MN 55117, USA

Received 26 October 2009; Accepted 18 January 2010

Academic Editor: Robert J. Linhardt

Copyright © 2010 Lingyi Lynn Deng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cell wall teichuronic acid (TUA) of Micrococcus luteus is a long-chain polysaccharide composed of disaccharide repeating units , which is covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan on the inner cell wall and extended to the outer surface of the cell envelope. An enzyme complex responsible for the TUA chain biosynthesis was purified and characterized. The 440 kDa enzyme complex, named teichuronic acid synthetase (TUAS), is an octomer composed of two kinds of glycosyltransferases, Glucosyltransferase, and ManNAcA-transferase, which is capable of catalyzing the transfer of disaccharide glycosyl residues containing both glucose and the -acetylmannosaminuronic acid residues. TUAS displays hydrophobic properties and is found primarily associated with the cytoplasmic membrane. The purified TUAS contains carotinoids and lipids. TUAS activity is diminished by phospholipase digestion. We propose that TUAS serves as a multitasking polysaccharide assembling station on the bacterial membrane.