The enzyme is involved in biosynthesis of GDP-D-glycero-α-D-manno-heptose, which is required for assembly of S-layer glycoprotein in some Gram-positive bacteria. The in vitro catalytic efficiency of the enzyme from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is 6-fold higher with the α-anomer than with the β-anomer .
Wang, L., Huang, H., Nguyen, H.H., Allen, K.N., Mariano, P.S. and Dunaway-Mariano, D. Divergence of biochemical function in the HAD superfamily: D-glycero-D-manno-heptose-1,7-bisphosphate phosphatase (GmhB). Biochemistry49 (2010) 1072–1081. [PMID: 20050615]