Glycosyltransferases transfer sugars from NDP-sugar donors to acceptors. The multigene family of transferases described in this paper typically transfer glucose from UDP-glucose to low-molecular-mass acceptors in the cytosol of plant cells. There are 107 sequences in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana that contain a consensus, suggesting they belong to this Group 1 multigene family. The family has been analysed phylogenetically, and a functional genomics approach has been applied to explore the relatedness of sequence similarity to catalytic specificity and stereoselectivity. Enzymes belonging to this class of transferases glycosylate a vast array of acceptors, including natural products such as secondary metabolites and hormones, as well as xenobiotics absorbed by the plant, such as herbicides and pesticides. Conjugation to glucose potentially changes the activity of the acceptor molecule and invariably changes its location within the plant cell. Using the genomics approach described, a platform of knowledge has been constructed that will enable an understanding to be gained on the role of these enzymes in cellular homoeostasis, as well as their activity in biotransformations in vitro that require strict regioselectivity of glycosylation.

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