Many small lipophilic compounds in living cells can be modified by glycosylation. These processes can regulate the bioactivity of the compounds, their intracellular location and their metabolism. The glycosyltransferases involved in biotransformations of small molecules have been grouped into Family 1 of the 69 families that are classified on the basis of substrate recognition and sequence relatedness. In plants, these transfer reactions generally use UDP‐glucose with acceptors that include hormones such as auxins and cytokinins, secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, and foreign compounds including herbicides and pesticides. In mammalian organisms, UDP‐glucuronic acid is typically used in the transfer reactions to endogenous acceptors, such as steroid and thyroid hormones, bile acids and retinoids, and to xenobiotics, including nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs and dietary metabolites. There is widespread interest in this class of enzyme since they are known to function both in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and in detoxification pathways. This review outlines current knowledge of these glycosyltransferases drawing on information gained from studies of plant and mammalian enzymes.
The EMBO Journal – Wiley
Published: Aug 4, 2004
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