Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Inst Hydrobiol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Grad Sch, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China
Using degenerate primers based on conserved regions of the UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UDPGDH) gene, an initial 476-bp DNA fragment was amplified from the water-bloom forming cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa FACHB 905. TAIL-PCR and ligation-mediated PCR were used to amplify the flanking regions to isolate an about 2.5-kb genomic DNA fragment. Sequence analysis revealed an ORF encoding a putative 462 amino acid protein, designated Mud for Microcystis UDPGDH. The Mud amino acid sequence is closely related to UDPGDH sequences from cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803 (73% identity, 81% similarity), and bacterium Bacillus subtilis (51% identity and 67% similarity). The cloned mud gene was expressed in Escherichia coli using the pGEX-4T-1 fusion expression vector system to generate a GST-Mud fusion protein that exhibited UDPGDH activity. The cytosolic fraction of M aeruginosa FACHB 905 was subjected to Western analysis with an anti-Mud antibody, which revealed a single band of approximately 49 kD, consistent with the deduced molecular mass of the enzyme. The Mud protein could thus be characterized as a UDP-glucose dehydrogenase, which was a key enzyme for polysaccharide synthesis and has, for the first time, been studied in algae.