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Gene Review

galE  -  UDP-galactose-4-epimerase

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK0748, JW0742, galD
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Disease relevance of galE


High impact information on galE


Chemical compound and disease context of galE


Biological context of galE


Anatomical context of galE

  • This symmetry could result in a ribonucleic acid stem-loop structure, blocking the attachment of ribosomes at the Shine-Dalgarno sequence of galE [15].
  • Furthermore, infection experiments in vitro indicate that the galE mutants exhibit unaltered intergonococcal adhesion as well as adhesion to, and invasion of, epithelial cells [16].

Associations of galE with chemical compounds

  • The resulting strains were vigorous, nonreverting galE mutants that were sensitive to galactose-induced lysis at 0.2 mM galactose [1].
  • Subsequently, the galE mutant cells elicited host defense reactions, and they were not stained by fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled lectin, which efficiently binds to amylovoran capsules of E. amylovora [2].
  • We conclude that the absence of a homolog for rfbC precludes the existence of a functional dTDP-rhamnose biosynthesis pathway in the gonococcal strains examined and that these genes are only maintained in N. gonorrhoeae either because of the presence of the galE gene or because of another as yet unrecognized function [17].
  • Disruption of the galE gene resulted in poor growth, undetectable intracellular levels of UDP-galactose, and elimination of EPS production in strain NIZO B40 when cells were grown in media with glucose as the sole carbon source [18].
  • These galE mutants provided a convenient and specific way to radiolabel lipopolysaccharide [10].

Other interactions of galE

  • We describe the molecular cloning of the gal operon of Salmonella typhimurium LT2 and the localization of the gal promoter and the genes galE, galT, and galK [1].
  • Cre was provided by the thermosensitive plasmid pJW168, which was transformed into the Anb(R) host at 30 degrees C, and was subsequently eliminated at 42 degrees C. Thus the Anb(R) marker was removed, whereas the lacZ or galE gene remained interrupted by the retained loxP site [19].
  • Functional analysis of the Lactococcus lactis galU and galE genes and their impact on sugar nucleotide and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis [18].
  • Comparison with sequence databases identified candidate genes for four glycosyl transferases, an O-acetyl transferase, an O-unit flippase, and an O-antigen polymerase, as well as copies of galE and gnd [20].
  • The remaining reading frames had homology to galE, rol, and gsk [21].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of galE

  • Disruption of the galE gene resulted in a deficiency in cell separation along with the appearance of a long-chain phenotype when cells were grown on glucose as the sole carbon source [14].
  • Aberrant lipopolysaccharide (LPS) production in the galE mutant Ty21a has resulted in more isoforms of OmpC and subsequently led to anomalous mobility in SDS-PAGE [22].
  • A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol was developed that could specifically amplify a 497-bp region of the UDP-galactose 4-epimerase (galE) gene sequence in campylobacters responsible for triggering the onset of GBS [23].
  • Neutron activation analysis of UDP-galactose 4-epimerase from Escherichia coli for 53 metals shows that the enzyme does not contain any of these metals at significant levels [24].
  • The circular dichroism spectra of E. coli UDP-galactose-4-epimerase in its native (epimerase-NAD+) and reduced (epimerase-NADH.UMP) forms between 190 and 400 nm are presented [25].


  1. Construction of defined galE mutants of Salmonella for use as vaccines. Hone, D., Morona, R., Attridge, S., Hackett, J. J. Infect. Dis. (1987) [Pubmed]
  2. Genetics of galactose metabolism of Erwinia amylovora and its influence on polysaccharide synthesis and virulence of the fire blight pathogen. Metzger, M., Bellemann, P., Bugert, P., Geider, K. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. Regulation of galactose operon at the gal operator-promoter region in Escherichia coli K-12. Hua, S.S., Markovitz, A. J. Bacteriol. (1975) [Pubmed]
  4. Two promoters, one inducible and one constitutive, control transcription of the Streptomyces lividans galactose operon. Fornwald, J.A., Schmidt, F.J., Adams, C.W., Rosenberg, M., Brawner, M.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1987) [Pubmed]
  5. Gene expression of an Escherichia coli ribosomal RNA promoter fused to structural genes of the galactose operon. Ota, Y., Kikuchi, A., Cashel, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1979) [Pubmed]
  6. Transcriptional termination at a fully rho-independent site in Escherichia coli is prevented by uninterrupted translation of the nascent RNA. Wright, J.J., Hayward, R.S. EMBO J. (1987) [Pubmed]
  7. Characterization of two mutations in the Escherichia coli galE gene inactivating the second galactose operator and comparative studies of repressor binding. Fritz, H.J., Bicknäse, H., Gleumes, B., Heibach, C., Rosahl, S., Ehring, R. EMBO J. (1983) [Pubmed]
  8. The Leloir pathway: a mechanistic imperative for three enzymes to change the stereochemical configuration of a single carbon in galactose. Frey, P.A. FASEB J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  9. Carbohydrate utilization in Streptococcus thermophilus: characterization of the genes for aldose 1-epimerase (mutarotase) and UDPglucose 4-epimerase. Poolman, B., Royer, T.J., Mainzer, S.E., Schmidt, B.F. J. Bacteriol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  10. Efficient incorporation of galactose into lipopolysaccharide by Escherichia coli K-12 strains with polar galE mutations. Schnaitman, C.A., Austin, E.A. J. Bacteriol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  11. Segment-specific mutagenesis of the regulatory region in the Escherichia coli galactose operon: isolation of mutations reducing the initiation of transcription and translation. Busby, S., Dreyfus, M. Gene (1983) [Pubmed]
  12. Ethyl nitrosourea and methyl methanesulfonate mutagenicity in sperm and testicular germ cells of lacZ transgenic mice (Muta Mouse). Suzuki, T., Itoh, S., Takemoto, N., Yajima, N., Miura, M., Hayashi, M., Shimada, H., Sofuni, T. Mutat. Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
  13. Preparation and characterization of a bifunctional fusion enzyme composed of UDP-galactose 4-epimerase and galactose-1-P uridylyltransferase. Tamada, Y., Swanson, B.A., Arabshahi, A., Frey, P.A. Bioconjug. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  14. Characterization, expression, and mutation of the Lactococcus lactis galPMKTE genes, involved in galactose utilization via the Leloir pathway. Grossiord, B.P., Luesink, E.J., Vaughan, E.E., Arnaud, A., de Vos, W.M. J. Bacteriol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. Escherichia coli gal operon proteins made after prophage lambda induction. Merril, C.R., Gottesman, M.E., Adhya, S.L. J. Bacteriol. (1981) [Pubmed]
  16. The role of galE in the biosynthesis and function of gonococcal lipopolysaccharide. Robertson, B.D., Frosch, M., van Putten, J.P. Mol. Microbiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  17. The identification of cryptic rhamnose biosynthesis genes in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and their relationship to lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis. Robertson, B.D., Frosch, M., van Putten, J.P. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  18. Functional analysis of the Lactococcus lactis galU and galE genes and their impact on sugar nucleotide and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis. Boels, I.C., Ramos, A., Kleerebezem, M., de Vos, W.M. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  19. A family of removable cassettes designed to obtain antibiotic-resistance-free genomic modifications of Escherichia coli and other bacteria. Palmeros, B., Wild, J., Szybalski, W., Le Borgne, S., Hernández-Chávez, G., Gosset, G., Valle, F., Bolivar, F. Gene (2000) [Pubmed]
  20. Molecular characterization of the locus encoding biosynthesis of the lipopolysaccharide O antigen of Escherichia coli serotype O113. Paton, A.W., Paton, J.C. Infect. Immun. (1999) [Pubmed]
  21. Identification of the galE gene and a galE homolog and characterization of their roles in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide in a serotype O:8 strain of Yersinia enterocolitica. Pierson, D.E., Carlson, S. J. Bacteriol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  22. Purification of integral outer-membrane protein OmpC, a surface antigen from Salmonella typhi for structure-function studies: a method applicable to enterobacterial major outer-membrane protein. Arockiasamy, A., Krishnaswamy, S. Anal. Biochem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  23. Detection of galE gene by polymerase chain reaction in campylobacters associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Nawaz, M.S., Wang, R.F., Khan, S.A., Khan, A.A. Mol. Cell. Probes (2003) [Pubmed]
  24. Uridine diphosphate galactose 4-epimerase. pH dependence of the reduction of NAD+ by a substrate analog. Arabshahi, A., Flentke, G.R., Frey, P.A. J. Biol. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
  25. Escherichia coli uridine diphosphate galactose 4-epimerase: circular dichroism of the protein and protein bound dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Wong, S.S., Cassim, J.Y., Frey, P.A. Biochemistry (1978) [Pubmed]
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