The highly conserved domain of unknown function 1792 has a distinct glycosyltransferase fold

Hua Zhang, Fan Zhu, Tiandi Yang, Lei Ding, Meixian Zhou, Jingzhi Li, Stuart M. Haslam, Anne Dell, Heidi Erlandsen, Hui Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


More than 33,000 glycosyltransferases have been identified. Structural studies, however, have only revealed two distinct glycosyltransferase (GT) folds, GT-A and GT-B. Here we report a 1.34-Å resolution X-ray crystallographic structure of a previously uncharacterized 'domain of unknown function' 1792 (DUF1792) and show that the domain adopts a new fold and is required for glycosylation of a family of serine-rich repeat streptococcal adhesins. Biochemical studies reveal that the domain is a glucosyltransferase, and it catalyses the transfer of glucose to the branch point of the hexasaccharide O-linked to the serine-rich repeat of the bacterial adhesin, Fap1 of Streptococcus parasanguinis. DUF1792 homologues from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria also exhibit the activity. Thus, DUF1792 represents a new family of glycosyltransferases; therefore, we designate it as a GT-D glycosyltransferase fold. As the domain is highly conserved in bacteria and not found in eukaryotes, it can be explored as a new antibacterial target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4339
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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