Mark M Chen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States

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Publications (9)42.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: N-linked glycosylation modulates protein folding and stability through a variety of mechanisms. As such there is considerable interest in the development of general rules to predict the structural consequences of site-specific glycosylation and to understand how these effects can be exploited in the design and development of modified proteins with advantageous properties. In this study, expressed protein ligation is used to create site-specifically glycosylated variants of the bacterial immunity protein Im7 modified with the chitobiose disaccharide (GlcNAc-GlcNAc). Glycans were introduced at seven solvent exposed sites within the Im7 sequence and the kinetic and thermodynamic consequences of N-linked glycosylation analyzed. The ΔΔG° values for glycan incorporation were found to range from +5.2 to -3.8 kJ·mol(-1). In several cases, glycosylation influences folding by modulating the local conformational preferences of the glycosylated sequence. These locally mediated effects are most prominent in the center of α-helices where glycosylation negatively effects folding and in compact turn motifs between segments of ordered secondary structure where glycosylation promotes folding and enhances the overall stability of the native protein. The studies also provide insight into why glycosylation is commonly identified at the transition between different types of secondary structure and when glycosylation may be used to elaborate protein structure to protect disordered sequences from proteolysis or immune system recognition.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2010; 107(52):22528-33. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: N-glycosylation of proteins is recognized as one of the most common post-translational modifications. Until recently it was believed that N-glycosylation occurred exclusively in eukaryotes before the discovery of the general protein glycosylation pathway (Pgl) in Campylobacter jejuni. To date, most techniques to analyze lipid-linked oligosaccharides (LLOs) of these pathways involve the use of radiolabels and chromatographic separation. Technologies capable of characterizing eukaryotic and the newly described bacterial N-glycosylation systems from biologically relevant samples in a quick, accurate, and cost-effective manner are needed. In this paper a new glycomics strategy based on lectin-affinity capture was devised and validated on the C. jejuni N-glycan pathway and the engineered Escherichia coli strains expressing the functional C. jejuni pathway. The lipid-linked oligosaccharide intermediates of the Pgl pathway were then enriched using SBA-agarose affinity-capture and examined by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS). We demonstrate that this method is capable of detecting low levels of LLOs, the sugars are indeed assembled on undecaprenylpyrophosphate, and structural information for expected and unexpected LLOs can be obtained without further sample manipulation. Furthermore, CE-MS analyses of C. jejuni and the E. coli "glyco-factories" showed striking differences in the assembly and control of N-glycan biosynthesis.
    Analytical Chemistry 08/2008; 80(14):5468-75. · 5.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni contains a general N-linked glycosylation pathway in which a heptasaccharide is sequentially assembled onto a polyisoprenyl diphosphate carrier and subsequently transferred to the asparagine side chain of an acceptor protein. The enzymes in the pathway function at a membrane interface and have in common amphiphilic membrane-bound polyisoprenyl-linked substrates. Herein, we examine the potential role of the polyisoprene component of the substrates by investigating the relative substrate efficiencies of polyisoprene-modified analogues in individual steps of the pathway. Chemically defined substrates for PglC, PglJ, and PglB are prepared via semisynthetic approaches. The substrates included polyisoprenols of varying length, double bond geometry, and degree of saturation for probing the role of the hydrophobic polyisoprene in substrate specificity. Kinetic analysis reveals that all three enzymes exhibit distinct preferences for the polyisoprenyl carrier whereby cis-double bond geometry and alpha-unsaturation of the native substrate are important features, while the precise polyisoprene length may be less critical. These findings suggest that the polyisoprenyl carrier plays a specific role in the function of these enzymes beyond a purely physical role as a membrane anchor. These studies underscore the potential of the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation pathway as a system for investigating the biochemical and biophysical roles of polyisoprenyl carriers common to prokaryotic and eukaryotic glycosylation.
    Biochemistry 01/2008; 46(50):14342-8. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gram-negative bacterium Campylobacter jejuni was recently discovered to contain a general N-linked protein glycosylation pathway. Central to this pathway is PglB, a homologue of the Stt3p subunit of the eukaryotic oligosaccharyl transferase (OT), which is involved in the transfer of an oligosaccharide from a polyisoprenyl pyrophosphate carrier to the asparagine side chain of proteins within the conserved glycosylation sites D/E-X1-N-X2-S/T, where X1 and X2 can be any amino acids except proline. Using a library of peptide substrates and a quantitative radioactivity-based in vitro assay, we assessed the amino acids at each position of the consensus glycosylation sequence for their impact on glycosylation efficiency, whereby the sequence DQNAT was found to be the optimal acceptor substrate. In the context of a full-length folded protein, the differences between variations of the glycosylation sequences were found to be consistent with the trends observed from their peptidyl counterparts, though less dramatic because of additional influences. In addition to characterizing the acceptor preferences of PglB, we also assessed the selectivity toward the glycan donor. Interestingly, despite recent reports of relaxed selectivity toward the glycan donor, PglB was not found to be capable of utilizing glycosyl donors such as dolichyl-pyrophosphate-chitobiose, which is the minimum substrate for the eukaryotic OT process.
    Biochemistry 06/2007; 46(18):5579-85. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Campylobacter jejuni 2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxy-alpha-d-glucopyranose, termed N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine (Bac2,4diNAc), is the first carbohydrate in the glycoprotein N-linked heptasaccharide. With uridine diphosphate-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) as a starting point, two enzymes of the general protein glycosylation (Pgl) pathway in C. jejuni (PglF and PglE) have recently been shown to modify this sugar nucleotide to form UDP-2-acetamido-4-amino-2,4,6-trideoxy-alpha-d-glycopyranose (UDP-4-amino-sugar) [Schoenhofen, I. C., et al. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281, 723-732]. PglD has been proposed to catalyze the final step in N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine synthesis by N-acetylation of the UDP-4-amino-sugar at the C4 position. We have cloned, overexpressed, and purified PglD from the pgl locus of C. jejuni NCTC 11168 and identified it as the acetyltransferase that modifies the UDP-4-amino-sugar to form UDP-N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine, utilizing acetyl-coenzyme A as the acetyl group donor. The UDP-N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine product was purified from the reaction by reverse phase C18 HPLC and the structure determined by NMR analysis. Additionally, the full-length PglF was overexpressed and purified in the presence of detergent as a GST fusion protein, allowing for derivation of kinetic parameters. We found that the UDP-4-amino-sugar was readily synthesized from UDP-GlcNAc in a coupled reaction using PglF and PglE. We also demonstrate the in vitro biosynthesis of the complete heptasaccharide lipid-linked donor by coupling the action of eight enzymes (PglF, PglE, PglD, PglC, PglA, PglJ, PglH, and PglI) in the Pgl pathway in a single reaction vessel.
    Biochemistry 12/2006; 45(45):13659-69. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inclusion body expression and refolding of a pH-sensitive intein fusion protein (Ssp DnaB intein) delivered sufficient quantities of an N-terminal Cys-polypeptide for native chemical ligations. This strategy circumvents premature intein cleavage under expression conditions and allows the expression and purification of proteins with uncertain solubility properties. The expressed protein resembles the C-terminal portion of the amphiphilic immunity protein Im7, which can be ligated to synthetic thioesters to yield synthetic protein analogues for protein folding studies.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 08/2006; 14(14):5043-8. · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni has a general N-linked glycosylation pathway, encoded by the pgl gene cluster. In C. jejuni, a heptasaccharide is transferred from an undecaprenyl pyrophosphate donor [GalNAc-alpha1,4-GalNAc-alpha1,4-(Glcbeta1,3)-GalNAc-alpha1,4-GalNAc-alpha1,4-GalNAc-alpha1,3-Bac-alpha1-PP-undecaprenyl, where Bac is bacillosamine (2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxyglucose)] to the asparagine side chain of target proteins at the Asn-X-Ser/Thr motif. In this study, we have cloned, overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and purified PglC, the glycosyl-1-phosphate transferase responsible for the first step in the biosynthesis of the undecaprenyl-linked heptasaccharide donor. In addition, we report the first synthetic route to uridine 5'-diphosphobacillosamine. Using the uridine 5'-diphosphobacillosamine and undecaprenyl phosphate, we demonstrate the ability of PglC to produce undecaprenyl pyrophosphate bacillosamine using radiolabeled HPLC and mass spectral analysis. In addition, we revealed that PglC does not accept uridine 5'-diphospho-N-acetylglucosamine or uridine 5'-diphospho-N-acetylgalactosamine as substrates but will accept uridine 5'-diphospho-6-hydroxybacillosamine, an analogue of bacillosamine that retains the C-6 hydroxyl functionality from the biosynthetic precursor. The in vitro characterization of PglC as a bacillosamine 1-phosphoryl transferase provides direct evidence for the early steps in the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation pathway, and the coupling of PglC with the latter glycosyltransferases (PglA, PglJ, PglH, and PglI) allows for the "one-pot" chemoenzymatic synthesis of the undecaprenyl pyrophosphate heptasaccharide donor.
    Biochemistry 05/2006; 45(16):5343-50. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical synthesis and biological activity of undecaprenyl pyrophosphate bacillosamine (Und-PP-Bac), an obligatory intermediate in the asparagine-linked glycosylation pathway of Campylobacter jejuni, are reported. The key transformation involves the coupling of bacillosamine phosphate and undecaprenyl phosphate. The synthetic Und-PP-Bac can be used to investigate the activity of the enzyme PglA, which catalyzes the first glycosyl transfer in substrate biosynthesis for N-linked protein glycosylation in the pathogenic gram-negative bacterium. The availability of this synthetic substrate makes it possible to access polyprenyl-linked oligosaccharides, such as the GalNAc-alpha-1,3-bacillosamine-alpha-1-PP-Und intermediate, that will enable exploration of the remaining enzymes in the prokaryotic glycosylation pathway. Study of the bacterial glycosylation system will provide insight into the corresponding eukaryotic process, which is currently poorly understood.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 11/2005; 127(40):13766-7. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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