Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 783–794 | Cite as

Toward a blueprint for UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase structure/function properties: homology-modeling analyses

  • Matt Geisler
  • Malgorzata Wilczynska
  • Stanislaw Karpinski
  • Leszek A. Kleczkowski


UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UGPase) is an important enzyme of synthesis of sucrose, cellulose, and several other polysaccharides in all plants. The protein is evolutionarily conserved among eukaryotes, but has little relation, aside from its catalytic reaction, to UGPases of prokaryotic origin. Using protein homology modeling strategy, 3D structures for barley, poplar, and Arabidopsis UGPases have been derived, based on recently published crystal structure of human UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase. The derived 3D structures correspond to a bowl-shaped protein with the active site at a central groove, and a C-terminal domain that includes a loop (I-loop) possibly involved in dimerization. Data on a plethora of earlier described UGPase mutants from a variety of eukaryotic organisms have been revisited, and we have, in most cases, verified the role of each mutation in enzyme catalysis/regulation/structural integrity. We have also found that one of two alternatively spliced forms of poplar UGPase has a very short I-loop, suggesting differences in oligomerization ability of the two isozymes. The derivation of the structural model for plant UGPase should serve as a useful blueprint for further function/structure studies on this protein.


Alternative splicing homology modeling oligomerization sucrose synthesis UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase 



amino acid(s)


ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase


human antigen-X, belonging to UNAGAPase family


inorganic pyrophosphate


sucrose phosphate synthase


sucrose synthase




UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase




UNAGA pyrophosphorylase


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Geisler
    • 1
  • Malgorzata Wilczynska
    • 2
  • Stanislaw Karpinski
    • 1
    • 3
  • Leszek A. Kleczkowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå Plant Science CentreUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biochemistry and BiophysicsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Department of BotanyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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