Glucan synthase-like 2 is indispensable for paramylon synthesis in Euglena gracilis

Yuji Tanaka, Takahisa Ogawa, Takanori Maruta, Yuta Yoshida, Kazuharu Arakawa, Takahiro Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The phytoflagellate Euglena gracilis produces a large amount of paramylon (PM), a conglomerate of liner β-1,3-glucan chains, as a storage polysaccharide. PM is synthesized from uridine diphosphate-glucose, but its mechanism of formation is largely unknown. Two enzymes, glucan synthase-like (EgGSL) 1 and EgGSL2 were previously identified as candidates for PM synthesis in a Euglena transcriptome analysis. Here, we performed a reverse genetic analysis on these enzymes. Knockdown of EgGSL2, but not EgGSL1, significantly inhibits PM accumulation in Euglena cells. Additionally, β-1,3-glucan synthesis is detected in a PM-associated membrane fraction extracted from Euglena cells. Our findings indicate that EgGSL2 is the predominant enzyme for PM biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1370
Number of pages11
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1


  • Euglena gracilis
  • paramylon
  • β-1,3-glucan synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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