InterPro : IPR008089

Name  Nucleotide sugar epimerase Short Name  Nuc_sugar_epim
Type  Family Description  Carbohydrates are used for a wide variety of functions in animals, plants and microbes. As well as providing the main energy source for most organisms,carbohydrates are ideally suited for molecular recognition []. For example, the stereochemistry of each hydroxyl substituent in a simple six-carbon six-oxygen pyranose ring can be varied to give up to 10 different molecules.An organism's ability to change and control the stereochemistry of moietieslike glucose and galactose is, therefore, important.Epimerases or "dehydratases", enzymes that catalyse these changes in carbohydrates, exist in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The processes they arbitrate are known as "epimerisation" and are involved in many metabolic pathways []. For example, the UDP-galactose epimerase in Arabidopsis thaliana(Mouse-ear cress) mediates the reversible epimerisation of UDP-galactose, and is considered essential for this reason, providing a secondary growth metabolite to glucose []. Bacterial homologues of the mouse-ear cress epimerase are involved in the synthesis of extracellular polysaccharide capsule components, as well as metabolic pathways []. For this reason, they are considered virulence factors if present in a pathogenic strain. Vibrio vulnificus, the causativeagent of septicemia and infectious disease from contaminated seafood, relies on a thick polysaccharide capsule to evade host immune cells []. Epimerasedeletion mutants were unable to infect a mouse model, suggesting that thegene is essential for bacterial virulence. Deletion studies with othercapsular pathogens, like Staphylococcus aureus, have shown that theepimerase enzyme is needed for capsule polysaccharide formation and,ultimately, virulence.

Sequence Features

GO Displayer


InterPro protein domain ID --> Contigs



0 Child Features

1 Contains

Id Name Short Name Type
IPR016040 NAD(P)-binding domain NAD(P)-bd_dom Domain

0 Found In

0 Parent Features

3 Publications

First Author Title Year Journal Volume Pages
Zuppardo AB An epimerase gene essential for capsule synthesis in Vibrio vulnificus. 1998 Infect Immun 66 2601-6
Dörmann P The role of UDP-glucose epimerase in carbohydrate metabolism of Arabidopsis. 1998 Plant J 13 641-52
Allard ST Epimerases: structure, function and mechanism. 2001 Cell Mol Life Sci 58 1650-65

To cite PlanMine, please refer to the following publication:

Rozanski, A., Moon, H., Brandl, H., Martín-Durán, J. M., Grohme, M., Hüttner, K., Bartscherer, K., Henry, I., & Rink, J. C.
PlanMine 3.0—improvements to a mineable resource of flatworm biology and biodiversity
Nucleic Acids Research, gky1070. doi:10.1093/nar/gky1070 (2018)