Volume 90 Issue 18 | p. 38
Issue Date: April 30, 2012

Determining Sugar Sequence Fidelity

Substrate analogs probe how carbohydrate polymerases install monosaccharides in correct order
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: carbohydrates, sugar, polymerases

Unlike their nucleic acid and protein siblings, carbohydrate biopolymers have no templates to guide their synthesis. The polymerase enzymes that stitch them together ensure that they end up with the desired sequence of sugars and linkages.

But little is known about the faithfulness of carbohydrate polymerases. DNA polymerases have varying degrees of fidelity; however, researchers don’t know whether the same is true for carbohydrate polymerases. New work on one such polymerase, galacto­furanosyltransferase 2 (GlfT2), suggests . . .

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