Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- 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.
- Skp1, a subunit of E3 Skp1/Cullin-1/F-box protein ubiquitin ligases, is modified by a prolyl hydroxylase that mediates O2 regulation of the social amoeba Dictyostelium and the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The full effect of hydroxylation requires modification of the hydroxyproline by a pentasaccharide that, in Dictyostelium, influences Skp1 structure to favor assembly of Skp1/F-box protein subcomplexes. In Toxoplasma, the presence of a contrasting penultimate sugar assembled by a different glycosyltransferase enables testing of the conformational control model.
- Deficiency in subunits of the conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex results in pleiotropic defects in glycosylation and causes congenital disorders in humans. Insight regarding the functional consequences of this defective glycosylation and the identity of specific glycoproteins affected is lacking. A chemical glycobiology strategy was adopted to identify the surface glycoproteins most sensitive to altered glycosylation in COG-deficient Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Following metabolic labeling, an unexpected increase in GalNAz incorporation into several glycoproteins, including α-dystroglycan (α-DG), was noted in cog1-deficient ldlB cells.
- Skp1 is a subunit of the SCF (Skp1/Cullin 1/F-box protein) class of E3 ubiquitin ligases that are important for eukaryotic protein degradation. Unlike its animal counterparts, Skp1 from Toxoplasma gondii is hydroxylated by an O2-dependent prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PhyA), and the resulting hydroxyproline can subsequently be modified by a five-sugar chain. A similar modification is found in the social amoeba Dictyostelium, where it regulates SCF assembly and O2-dependent development. Homologous glycosyltransferases assemble a similar core trisaccharide in both organisms, and a bifunctional α-galactosyltransferase from CAZy family GT77 mediates the addition of the final two sugars in Dictyostelium, generating Galα1, 3Galα1,3Fucα1,2Galβ1,3GlcNAcα1-.
- Acid hydrolases utilize a carbohydrate-dependent mechanism for lysosomal targeting. These hydrolases acquire a mannose 6-phosphate tag by the action of the GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase enzyme, allowing them to bind receptors and traffic to endosomes. Loss of GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase results in hydrolase hypersecretion and profound lysosomal storage. Little, however, is known about how these cellular phenotypes affect the trafficking, activity, and localization of surface glycoproteins. To address this question, we profiled the abundance of surface glycoproteins in WT and CRISPR-mediated GNPTAB−/− HeLa cells and identified changes in numerous glycoproteins, including the uptake receptor LRP1 and multiple receptor tyrosine kinases.
- Toxoplasma gondii is a protist parasite of warm-blooded animals that causes disease by proliferating intracellularly in muscle and the central nervous system. Previous studies showed that a prolyl 4-hydroxylase related to animal HIFα prolyl hydroxylases is required for optimal parasite proliferation, especially at low O2. We also observed that Pro-154 of Skp1, a subunit of the Skp1/Cullin-1/F-box protein (SCF)-class of E3-ubiquitin ligases, is a natural substrate of this enzyme. In an unrelated protist, Dictyostelium discoideum, Skp1 hydroxyproline is modified by five sugars via the action of three glycosyltransferases, Gnt1, PgtA, and AgtA, which are required for optimal O2-dependent development.
- Selective exo-enzymatic labeling (or SEEL) uses recombinant glycosyltransferases and nucleotide-sugar analogues to allow efficient labeling of cell surface glycans. SEEL can circumvent many of the possible issues associated with metabolic labeling, including low incorporation of sugar precursors, and allows for sugars to be added selectively to different types of glycans by virtue of the inherent specificity of the glycosyltransferases. Here we compare the labeling of sialoglycoproteins in undifferentiated and differentiated human erythroleukemia cells (HEL) using SEEL using the sialyltransferases ST6Gal1 and ST3Gal1, which label N- and O-glycans, respectively.