The Drosophila Neurally Altered Carbohydrate Mutant Has a Defective Golgi GDP-Fucose Transporter

Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 06/2012;


Studying genetic disorders in model organisms can provide insights into heritable human diseases. The Drosophila neurally altered carbohydrate (nac) mutant is deficient for neural expression of the HRP epitope, which consists of N-glycans with core α1,3-linked fucose residues. Here, we show that a conserved serine residue in the Golgi GDP-fucose transporter (GFR) is substituted by leucine in nac1 flies, which abolishes GDP-fucose transport in vivo and in vitro. This loss of function is due to a biochemical defect, not to destabilization or mis-targeting of the mutant GFR protein. Mass spectrometry and HPLC analysis showed that nac1 mutants lack not only core α1,3-linked, but also core α1,6-linked fucose residues on their N-glycans. Thus, the nac1 Gfr mutation produces a previously unrecognized general defect in N-glycan core fucosylation. Transgenic expression of a wild-type Gfr gene restored the HRP epitope in neural tissues, directly demonstrating that the Gfr mutation is solely responsible for the neural HRP epitope deficiency in the nac1 mutant. These results validate the Drosophila nac1 mutant as a model for the human congenital disorder of glycosylation, CDG-IIc (also known as LAD-II), which is also the result of a GFR deficiency.

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