Pel Polysaccharide Biosynthesis Requires an Inner Membrane Complex Comprised of PelD, PelE, PelF, and PelG Academic Article uri icon

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  • The exopolysaccharide Pel plays an important role in bacterial cell-cell interactions, surface adhesion, and protection against certain antibiotics. We identified invariant pelDEFG gene clusters in over 500 diverse proteobacterial species. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa , we demonstrate that PelD, PelE, PelF, and PelG form a complex at the inner membrane and propose that this complex represents the previously unidentified Pel polysaccharide synthase, which is responsible for Pel polymerization and transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. We show that the formation of this complex is independent of cyclic 3′,5′-dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) binding to the receptor PelD. Collectively, these data establish the widespread Pel apparatus as a member of the synthase-dependent pathway of polysaccharide biosynthetic systems and broaden the architectural diversity of already-established bacterial polysaccharide synthases.


  • Whitfield, Gregory B
  • Marmont, Lindsey S
  • Ostaszewski, Alex
  • Rich, Jacquelyn D
  • Whitney, John
  • Parsek, Matthew R
  • Harrison, Joe J
  • Howell, P Lynne

publication date

  • March 26, 2020