Acceptor specificities and selective inhibition of recombinant human Gal- and GlcNAc-transferases that synthesize core structures 1, 2, 3 and 4 of O-glycans.

Citation:

Gao Y, Aryal RP, Ju T, Cummings RD, Gahlay G, Jarvis DL, Matta KL, Vlahakis JZ, Szarek WA, Brockhausen I. Acceptor specificities and selective inhibition of recombinant human Gal- and GlcNAc-transferases that synthesize core structures 1, 2, 3 and 4 of O-glycans. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013;1830 (8) :4274-81.

Date Published:

2013 Aug

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Modifications of proteins by O-glycosylation determine many of the properties and functions of proteins. We wish to understand the mechanisms of O-glycosylation and develop inhibitors that could affect glycoprotein functions and alter cellular behavior. METHODS: We expressed recombinant soluble human Gal- and GlcNAc-transferases that synthesize the O-glycan cores 1 to 4 and are critical for the overall structures of O-glycans. We determined the properties and substrate specificities of these enzymes using synthetic acceptor substrate analogs. Compounds that were inactive as substrates were tested as inhibitors. RESULTS: Enzymes significantly differed in their recognition of the sugar moieties and aglycone groups of substrates. Core 1 synthase was active with glycopeptide substrates but GlcNAc-transferases preferred substrates with hydrophobic aglycone groups. Chemical modifications of the acceptors shed light on enzyme-substrate interactions. Core 1 synthase was weakly inhibited by its substrate analog benzyl 2-butanamido-2-deoxy-α-d-galactoside while two of the three GlcNAc-transferases were selectively and potently inhibited by bis-imidazolium salts which are not substrate analogs. CONCLUSIONS: This work delineates the distinct specificities and properties of the enzymes that synthesize the common O-glycan core structures 1 to 4. New inhibitors were found that could selectively inhibit the synthesis of cores 1, 2 and 3 but not core 4. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: These studies help our understanding of the mechanisms of action of enzymes critical for O-glycosylation. The results may be useful for the re-engineering of O-glycosylation to determine the roles of O-glycans and the enzymes critical for O-glycosylation, and for biotechnology with potential therapeutic applications.