Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- Collagens are the most abundant proteins in the body and among the most biosynthetically complex. A molecular ensemble of over 20 endoplasmic reticulum resident proteins participates in collagen biosynthesis and contributes to heterogeneous post-translational modifications. Pathogenic variants in genes encoding collagens cause connective tissue disorders, including osteogenesis imperfecta, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, and Gould syndrome (caused by mutations in COL4A1 and COL4A2), and pathogenic variants in genes encoding proteins required for collagen biosynthesis can cause similar but overlapping clinical phenotypes.
- Alpha-1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8) synthesizes core fucose in N-glycans, which plays critical roles in various physiological processes. FUT8, as with many other glycosyltransferases, is a type-II membrane protein, and its large C-terminal catalytic domain is linked to the FUT8 stem region, which comprises two α-helices. Although the stem regions of several glycosyltransferases are involved in the regulation of Golgi localization, the functions of the FUT8 stem region have not been clarified as yet.
- The macrophage mannose receptor (MR, CD206) is a transmembrane endocytic lectin receptor, expressed in selected immune and endothelial cells, and is involved in immunity and maintaining homeostasis. Eight of the ten extracellular domains of the MR are C-type lectin domains (CTLDs) which mediate the binding of mannose, fucose, and GlcNAc in a calcium-dependent manner. Previous studies indicated that self-glycosylation of MR regulates its glycan binding. To further explore this structure–function relationship, we studied herein a recombinant version of mouse MR CTLD4-7 fused to human Fc-portion of IgG (MR-Fc).
- N-glycosylation is an essential eukaryotic posttranslational modification that affects various glycoprotein properties, including folding, solubility, protein–protein interactions, and half-life. N-glycans are processed in the secretory pathway to form varied ensembles of structures, and diversity at a single site on a glycoprotein is termed ‘microheterogeneity’. To understand the factors that influence glycan microheterogeneity, we hypothesized that local steric and electrostatic factors surrounding each site influence glycan availability for enzymatic modification.
- Newly synthesized proteins in the secretory pathway, including glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins (GPI-APs), need to be correctly targeted and imported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. GPI-APs are synthesized in the cytosol as preproproteins, which contain an N-terminal signal sequence (SS), mature protein part, and C-terminal GPI-attachment sequence (GPI-AS), and translocated into the ER lumen where SS and GPI-AS are removed, generating mature GPI-APs. However, how various GPI-APs are translocated into the ER lumen in mammalian cells is unclear.