Background: The biocatalytic oxidation of UDP-glucose in the presence of NAD+ is
catalyzed by UDP-glucose dehydrogenases.
Objectives: The main objective of this study was the characterization of a UDP-glucose dehydrogenase
(AmUGD) from Akkermansia muciniphila, a bacterium originally isolated from human
faeces in an anaerobic medium containing gastric mucin as the sole carbon source.
Methods: The biochemical analysis of AmUGD was performed using a plate reader-based assay
measuring the reaction by-product NADH. Furthermore, HPLC- and MALDI-ToF-MS- based
methods were used for the enzyme characterization.
Results: The recombinant form of the protein was expressed in E. coli and the purified enzyme
exhibited optimum levels of activity at 37°C and pH 9.0. While the enzyme is active in the absence
of metal ions, the presence of Zn2+ ions results in markedly enhanced levels of catalysis.
Conclusion: This study describes the first characterization of a nucleotide-processing enzyme from
A. muciniphila. The ease of expression and purification of this enzyme make it ideal for biotechnological
applications such as the enzymatic synthesis of nucleotide sugars, which may in turn be
used for the synthesis of complex carbohydrates or glycoconjugates.