Enzymes of UDP-GlcNAc biosynthesis in yeast

Authors

  • Sławomir Milewski,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biochemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdańsk, Poland
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biochemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, 11/12 Narutowicza Street, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland.
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  • Iwona Gabriel,

    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biochemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdańsk, Poland
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  • Jarosław Olchowy

    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biochemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdańsk, Poland
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Abstract

D-Glucosamine is an important building block of major structural components of the fungal cell wall, namely chitin, chitosan and mannoproteins. Other amino sugars, such as D-mannosamine and D-galactosamine, relatively abundant in higher eukaryotes, rarely occur in fungal cells and are actually absent from yeast and yeast-like fungi. The glucosamine-containing sugar nucleotide UDP-GlcNAc is synthesized in yeast cells in a four-step cytoplasmic pathway. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the present knowledge on the enzymes catalysing the particular steps of the pathway in Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with a special emphasis put on mechanisms of the catalysed reactions, regulation of activity and perspectives for exploitation of enzymes participating in UDP-GlcNAc biosynthesis as potential targets for antifungal chemotherapy. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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