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Galactan biosynthesis in snails: a comparative study of beta -(1 6) galactosyltransferases from Helix pomatia and Biomphalaria glabrata

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Bretting, H., Messer, M., Kröger, L., Mischnick, P. and Thiem, J.E. (2000) Galactan biosynthesis in snails: a comparative study of beta -(1 6) galactosyltransferases from Helix pomatia and Biomphalaria glabrata. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 170 . pp. 601-613. ISSN 1432-136X

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s003600000141


Adult snails synthesize in their albumen glands a polysaccharide which is composed exclusively of D- or D- and L-galactose (Gal) residues which are interglycosidically linked by 1 → 3 and 1 → 6 bonds. It is the only carbohydrate source for embryos and freshly hatched snails. Two galactosyltransferases are described in this study which are most likely involved in the biosynthesis of this polysaccharide. One identified in Helix pomatia acts on oligosaccharides and could be used to synthesize a tetrasaccharide when the branched trisaccharide D-Gal-β-(1 → 3)-[D-Galβ-(1 → 6)]-D-Galβ-1 → OMe was offered as acceptor. This enzyme, requiring Mg++- and Mn++-ions for activity, introduced a linear β-(1 → 6) linkage at the terminal non-reducing ends and was not detected in Biomphalaria glabrata. The other enzyme, which introduced β-(1 → 6) linkages at subterminal D-Gal residues, thus forming branching points in the polysaccharide, was found in H. pomatia, Arianta arbustorum and B. glabrata with comparable activities. With the enzyme preparation of H. pomatia, up to four D-Gal residues were introduced into vicinal positions, forming single-membered side chains, if a hexasaccharide with five linearly β-(1 → 3)-linked D-Gal residues was offered as a acceptor. The multiple-branched structure formed is typical for snail galactans, making this enzyme a prime candidate for the branching enzyme in galactan synthesis. The enzyme activity could be solubilized and purified by affinity chromatography. In SDS-polyacrylamide electrophoresis, the Helix- derived eluate displayed two bands (68, 37 kDa) and that of Biomphalaria five bands (68, 63, 17.5; 15; 13 kDa). The purified material showed only 8% of the total activity of the crude extracts, but it could be shown that a phosphatase present in the crude extract can degrade UDP formed in the transfer reaction and thus drive the reaction to completion.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Primary Industries, Queensland
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Invertebrates
Live Archive:03 Jan 2024 22:07
Last Modified:03 Jan 2024 22:07

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