Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- NOTCH1 is a transmembrane receptor that initiates a cell–cell signaling pathway controlling various cell fate specifications in metazoans. The addition of O-fucose by protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (POFUT1) to epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats in the NOTCH1 extracellular domain is essential for NOTCH1 function, and modification of O-fucose with GlcNAc by the Fringe family of glycosyltransferases modulates Notch activity. Prior cell-based studies showed that POFUT1 modifies EGF repeats containing the appropriate consensus sequence at high stoichiometry, while Fringe GlcNAc-transferases (LFNG, MFNG, and RFNG) modify O-fucose on only a subset of NOTCH1 EGF repeats.
- Thrombospondin type-1 repeats (TSRs) are small protein motifs containing six conserved cysteines forming three disulfide bonds that can be modified with an O-linked fucose. Protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2) catalyzes the addition of O-fucose to TSRs containing the appropriate consensus sequence, and the O-fucose modification can be elongated to a Glucose-Fucose disaccharide with the addition of glucose by β3-glucosyltransferase (B3GLCT). Elimination of Pofut2 in mice results in embryonic lethality in mice, highlighting the biological significance of O-fucose modification on TSRs.
- Fibrillin-1 (FBN1) is the major component of extracellular matrix microfibrils, which are required for proper development of elastic tissues, including the heart and lungs. Through protein–protein interactions with latent transforming growth factor (TGF) β-binding protein 1 (LTBP1), microfibrils regulate TGF-β signaling. Mutations within the 47 epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats of FBN1 cause autosomal dominant disorders including Marfan Syndrome, which is characterized by disrupted TGF-β signaling.
- Peters Plus Syndrome (PTRPLS OMIM # 261540 ) is a severe congenital disorder of glycosylation where patients have multiple structural anomalies, including Peters anomaly of the eye (anterior segment dysgenesis), disproportionate short stature, brachydactyly, dysmorphic facial features, developmental delay, and variable additional abnormalities. PTRPLS patients and some Peters Plus-like (PTRPLS-like) patients (who only have a subset of PTRPLS phenotypes) have mutations in the gene encoding β1,3-glucosyltransferase (B3GLCT).
- ADAMTSL2 mutations cause an autosomal recessive connective tissue disorder, geleophysic dysplasia 1 (GPHYSD1), which is characterized by short stature, small hands and feet, and cardiac defects. ADAMTSL2 is a matricellular protein previously shown to interact with latent transforming growth factor-β binding protein 1 and influence assembly of fibrillin 1 microfibrils. ADAMTSL2 contains seven thrombospondin type-1 repeats (TSRs), six of which contain the consensus sequence for O-fucosylation by protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2).
- Notch signaling is a cellular pathway regulating cell-fate determination and adult tissue homeostasis. Little is known about how canonical Notch ligands or Fringe enzymes differentially affect NOTCH1 and NOTCH2. Using cell-based Notch signaling and ligand-binding assays, we evaluated differences in NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 responses to Delta-like (DLL) and Jagged (JAG) family members and the extent to which Fringe enzymes modulate their activity. In the absence of Fringes, DLL4–NOTCH1 activation was more than twice that of DLL4–NOTCH2, whereas all other ligands activated NOTCH2 similarly or slightly more than NOTCH1.
- Glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is closely associated with protein folding and quality control. We recently described a non-canonical ER quality control mechanism for folding of thrombospondin type 1 repeats by protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2). Epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats are also small cysteine-rich protein motifs that can be O-glycosylated by several ER-localized enzymes, including protein O-glucosyltransferase 1 (POGLUT1) and POFUT1. Both POGLUT1 and POFUT1 modify the Notch receptor on multiple EGF repeats and are essential for full Notch function.
- Glycosylation of the Notch receptor is essential for its activity and serves as an important modulator of signaling. Three major forms of O-glycosylation are predicted to occur at consensus sites within the epidermal growth factor-like repeats in the extracellular domain of the receptor: O-fucosylation, O-glucosylation, and O-GlcNAcylation. We have performed comprehensive mass spectral analyses of these three types of O-glycosylation on Drosophila Notch produced in S2 cells and identified peptides containing all 22 predicted O-fucose sites, all 18 predicted O-glucose sites, and all 18 putative O-GlcNAc sites.