Author(s): Kumari K, Weigel PH
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Abstract We previously reported the first cloning of a functional glycosaminoglycan synthase, the hyaluronan synthase (HAS) from Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (spHAS) (DeAngelis, P. L., Papaconstantinou, J., and Weigel, P. H. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 19181-19184). Group A spHAS was unrelated to a putative Group C HA synthase reported by others (Lansing, M., Lellig, S., Mausolf, A., Martini, I. , Crescenzi, F., Oregon, M., and Prehm, P. (1993) Biochem. J. 289, 179-184). Here we report the isolation of a bona fide HA synthase gene from a highly encapsulated strain of Group C Streptococcus equisimilis. The encoded protein, designated seHAS, is 417 amino acids long (calculated molecular weight, 47,778; calculated pI, 9.1) and is the smallest member of the HAS family identified thus far. The enzyme migrates anomalously fast in SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (approximately 42,000 Da). The seHAS protein shows no similarity (<2\% identity) to the previously reported Group C gene, which is not an HA synthase. The seHAS and spHAS protein and coding sequences are 72 and 70\% identical, respectively. seHAS is also similar to eukaryotic HAS1 (approximately 31\% identical), HAS2 (approximately 28\% identical), and HAS3 (28\% identical). The deduced protein sequence of seHAS was confirmed by reactivity with a synthetic peptide antibody. Recombinant seHAS expressed in Escherichia coli was recovered in membranes as a major protein (approximately 10\% of the total protein) and synthesized very large HA (Mr >7 x 10(6)) in the presence of UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-GlcA. The product contained equimolar amounts of both sugars and was degraded by the specific Streptomyces hyaluronidase. Comparison of the two recombinant streptococcal enzymes in isolated membranes showed that seHAS and spHAS are essentially identical in the steady-state size distribution of HA chains they synthesize, but seHAS has an intrinsic 2-fold faster rate of chain elongation (Vmax) than spHAS. seHAS is the most active HA synthase identified thus far; it polymerizes HA at an average rate of 160 monosaccharides/s. The two bacterial HA synthase genes may have arisen from a common ancient gene shared with the early evolving vertebrates.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics