At the membrane frontier: A prospectus on the remarkable evolutionary conservation of polyprenols and polyprenyl-phosphates
Author(s)Hartley, Meredith D.; Imperiali, Barbara
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Long-chain polyprenols and polyprenyl-phosphates are ubiquitous and essential components of cellular membranes throughout all domains of life. Polyprenyl-phosphates, which include undecaprenyl-phosphate in bacteria and the dolichyl-phosphates in archaea and eukaryotes, serve as specific membrane-bound carriers in glycan biosynthetic pathways responsible for the production of cellular structures such as N-linked protein glycans and bacterial peptidoglycan. Polyprenyl-phosphates are the only form of polyprenols with a biochemically-defined role; however, unmodified or esterified polyprenols often comprise significant percentages of the cellular polyprenol pool. The strong evolutionary conservation of unmodified polyprenols as membrane constituents and polyprenyl-phosphates as preferred glycan carriers in biosynthetic pathways is poorly understood. This review surveys the available research to explore why unmodified polyprenols have been conserved in evolution and why polyprenyl-phosphates are universally and specifically utilized for membrane-bound glycan assembly.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemistry
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Hartley, Meredith D., and Barbara Imperiali. “At the Membrane Frontier: A Prospectus on the Remarkable Evolutionary Conservation of Polyprenols and Polyprenyl-Phosphates.” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 517, no. 2 (January 2012): 83–97.
Author's final manuscript