Solving The Mystery Of Sugar Chain Growth | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: July 15, 2011

Solving The Mystery Of Sugar Chain Growth

Assay based on mass spectrometry reveals mechanistic secrets of a polymer-building enzyme
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, JACS In C&EN
Keywords: glycosyltransferase, processivity, mass spectrometry, Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the microbe responsible for tuberculosis, uses an unusually strong cell wall, fortified with a carbohydrate called galactan, to protect itself from harsh environments and its host’s immune system. Sugar polymers like galactan are built by enzymes called glycosyltransferases, which add successive sugar molecules to a chain, like beads on a string. Now researchers have developed an assay based on mass spectrometry to answer a long-standing question about the mechanism of these enzymes (J. . . .

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