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Protein Substrates Engage the Lumen of O‑GlcNAc Transferase’s Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domain in Different Ways

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journal contribution
posted on 12.03.2021, 13:04 by Cassandra M. Joiner, Forrest A. Hammel, John Janetzko, Suzanne Walker
Glycosylation of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins is an essential post-translational modification in mammals. O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), the sole enzyme responsible for this modification, glycosylates more than 1000 unique nuclear and cytoplasmic substrates. How OGT selects its substrates is a fundamental question that must be answered to understand OGT’s unusual biology. OGT contains a long tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain that has been implicated in substrate selection, but there is almost no information about how changes to this domain affect glycosylation of individual substrates. By profiling O-GlcNAc in cell extracts and probing glycosylation of purified substrates, we show here that ladders of asparagines and aspartates that extend the full length of OGT’s TPR lumen control substrate glycosylation. Different substrates are sensitive to changes in different regions of OGT’s TPR lumen. We also found that substrates with glycosylation sites close to the C-terminus bypass lumenal binding. Our findings demonstrate that substrates can engage OGT in a variety of different ways for glycosylation.