Structure-function analysis of the human sialyltransferase ST3Gal I: role of n-glycosylation and a novel conserved sialylmotif.
ABSTRACT All eukaryotic sialyltransferases have in common the presence in their catalytic domain of several conserved peptide regions (sialylmotifs L, S, and VS). Functional analysis of sialylmotifs L and S previously demonstrated their involvement in the binding of donor and acceptor substrates. The region comprised between the sialylmotifs S and VS contains a stretch of four highly conserved residues, with the following consensus sequence (H/y)Y(Y/F/W/h)(E/D/q/g). (Capital letters and lowercase letters indicate a strong or low occurrence of the amino acid, respectively.) The functional importance of these residues and of the conserved residues of motif VS (HX(4)E) was assessed using as a template the human ST3Gal I. Mutational analysis showed that residues His(299) and Tyr(300) of the new motif, and His(316) of the VS motif, are essential for activity since their substitution by alanine yielded inactive enzymes. Our results suggest that the invariant Tyr residue (Tyr(300)) plays an important conformational role mainly attributable to the aromatic ring. In contrast, the mutants W301F, E302Q, and E321Q retained significant enzyme activity (25-80% of the wild type). Kinetic analyses and CDP binding assays showed that none of the mutants tested had any significant effect in nucleotide donor binding. Instead the mutant proteins were affected in their binding to the acceptor and/or demonstrated lower catalytic efficiency. Although the human ST3Gal I has four N-glycan attachment sites in its catalytic domain that are potentially glycosylated, none of them was shown to be necessary for enzyme activity. However, N-glycosylation appears to contribute to the proper folding and trafficking of the enzyme.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Bathycoccus prasinos is an extremely small cosmopolitan marine green alga whose cells are covered with intricate spider's web patterned scales that develop within the Golgi cisternae before their transport to the cell surface. The objective of this work is to sequence and analyze its genome, and to present a comparative analysis with other known genomes of the green lineage. RESULTS: Its small genome of 15Mb consists of 19 chromosomes and lacks transposons. Although 70% of all B. prasinos genes share similarities with other Viridiplantae genes, up to 428 genes were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer, mainly from other eukaryotes. Two chromosomes, one big and one small, are atypical, an unusual synapomorphic feature within the Mamiellales. Genes on these atypical outlier chromosomes show lower GC content and a significant fraction of putative horizontal gene transfer genes. Whereas the small outlier chromosome lacks colinearity with other Mamiellales and contains many unknown genes without homologs in other species, the big outlier shows a higher intron content, increased expression levels and a unique clustering pattern of housekeeping functionalities. Four gene families are highly expanded in B. prasinos, including sialyltransferases, sialidases, ankyrin repeats and zinc ion-binding genes, and we hypothesize that these genes are associated with the process of scale biogenesis. CONCLUSION: The minimal genomes of the Mamiellophyceae provide a baseline for evolutionary and functional analyses of metabolic processes in green plants.Genome biology 08/2012; 13(8):R74. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sialyltransferases are a family of enzymes catalyzing the transfer of sialic acid residues to terminal non-reducing positions of oligosaccharide chains of glycoproteins and glycolipids. Although expression of sialic acid is well documented in animals of the deuterostomian lineage, sialyltransferases have been predominantly described for relatively recent vertebrate lineages such as birds and mammals. This study outlines the characterization of the only sialyltransferase gene found in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, the first such report of a non-vertebrate deuterostomian sialyltransferase, which has been discussed as a possible orthologue of the common ancestor of galactose α2,3-sialyltransferases. We also report for the first time the characterization of a ST3Gal II gene from the bony fish Takifugu rubripes. We demonstrate that both genes encode functional α2,3-sialyltransferases that are structurally and functionally related to the ST3Gal family of mammalian sialyltransferases. However, characterization of the recombinant, purified forms of both enzymes reveal novel acceptor substrate specificities, with sialylation of the disaccharide Galβ1-3GalNAc and asialofetuin, but not GM1 or GD1b observed. This is in contrast to the mammalian ST3Gal II that predominantly sialylates gangliosides. Taken together the ceramide binding/recognition site previously proposed for the mouse ST3Gal II might represent a unique feature of mammalian ST3Gal II that is missing in the evolutionary more distant fish and tunicate species reported here. This suggests that during the evolution of the ST3Gal II, probably following the separation of the teleosts, a significant shift in substrate specificity enabling the sialylation of gangliosides took place.Glycoconjugate Journal 04/2012; 25(4):323-334. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sialic acids are a family of negatively charged monosaccharides which are commonly presented as the terminal residues in glycans of the glycoconjugates on eukaryotic cell surface or as components of capsular polysaccharides or lipooligosaccharides of some pathogenic bacteria. Due to their important biological and pathological functions, the biosynthesis, activation, transfer, breaking down, and recycle of sialic acids are attracting increasing attention. The understanding of the sialic acid metabolism in eukaryotes and bacteria leads to the development of metabolic engineering approaches for elucidating the important functions of sialic acid in mammalian systems and for large-scale production of sialosides using engineered bacterial cells. As the key enzymes in biosynthesis of sialylated structures, sialyltransferases have been continuously identified from various sources and characterized. Protein crystal structures of seven sialyltransferases have been reported. Wild-type sialyltransferases and their mutants have been applied with or without other sialoside biosynthetic enzymes for producing complex sialic acid-containing oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates. This mini-review focuses on current understanding and applications of sialic acid metabolism and sialyltransferases.Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 04/2012; 94(4):887-905. · 3.69 Impact Factor