GlgE is a maltosyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of alpha-glucans that has been genetically validated as a potential therapeutic target against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite also making alpha-glucan, the GlgC/GlgA glycogen pathway is distinct and allosterically regulated. We have used a combination of genetics and biochemistry to establish how the GlgE pathway is regulated. M. tuberculosis GlgE was phosphorylated specifically by the Ser/Thr protein kinase PknB in vitro on one serine and six threonine residues. Furthermore, GlgE was phosphorylated in vivo when expressed in Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) but not when all seven phosphorylation sites were replaced by Ala residues. The GlgE orthologues from Mycobacterium smegmatis and Streptomyces coelicolor were phosphorylated by the corresponding PknB orthologues in vitro, implying that the phosphorylation of GlgE is widespread among actinomycetes. PknB-dependent phosphorylation of GlgE led to a 2 orders of magnitude reduction in catalytic efficiency in vitro. The activities of phosphoablative and phosphomimetic GlgE derivatives, where each phosphorylation site was substituted with either Ala or Asp residues, respectively, correlated with negative phosphoregulation. Complementation studies of a M. smegmatis glgE mutant strain with these GlgE derivatives, together with both classical and chemical forward genetics, were consistent with flux through the GlgE pathway being correlated with GlgE activity. We conclude that the GlgE pathway appears to be negatively regulated in actinomycetes through the phosphorylation of GlgE by PknB, a mechanism distinct from that known in the classical glycogen pathway. Thus, these findings open new opportunities to target the GlgE pathway therapeutically.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Jun 2013|
- FATTY-ACID SYNTHASE
- PROTEIN SECONDARY STRUCTURE
- BACTERIAL GLYCOGEN