How Bioinformatic Tools Guide Experiments To Resolve the Chaos of Apparently Unlimited Metabolic Variation.

Affiliation

School of Biosciences and Institute of Microbiology and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom [Email]

Abstract

Hexuronic acids, oxidation products of common sugars, are widespread in eukaryotic cells. Galacturonic acid is the main carbohydrate component of pectin found in plant cell walls and glucuronic acid is a component of proteoglycans in animals. However, despite their importance as carbohydrate substrates, metabolism of hexuronic acids has long remained a poorly studied corner of the bacterial metabolic map. In the current issue of Journal of Bacteriology, Bouvier and coworkers present a detailed analysis of genes involved in hexuronate utilization in various proteobacteria and report the verification of their bioinformatics predictions by carefully designed experiments (J. T. Bouvier et al., J Bacteriol 201:e00431-18, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00431-18). This study provides a solid basis for understanding hexuronate metabolism and its regulation in other bacterial phyla.

Keywords

bioinformatics,hexuronates,proteobacteria,