Kleczkowski LA, Decker D, Wilczynska M
UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase: a new old mechanism for sugar activation
Plant Physiology: 2011 156:3-10

Recent developments in studies on properties and functions of UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase (USPase) in metabolism are presented. The protein was characterized from plants and protozoans (Leishmania, Trypanosoma), but apparently it is also present in bacteria. In plants, USPase deficiency leads to male-sterility. USPase produces a variety of UDP-sugars and their analogs required for cell wall biosynthesis as well as for protein and lipid glycosylation, among other functions. Substrate specificity of USPases from different sources is reviewed, and their function/ structure properties are discussed, based on recent crystallization of the protein, with emphasis on common structural blueprint with some other pyrophosphorylases. Some strategies for future research on USPase are discussed.

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