A key step in the assembly of oligosaccharide-lipid intermediates in N- linked glycosylation is the transfer of N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate to dolichyl phosphate, catalyzed by the enzyme UDP-N-acetylglucosaminyl:dolichyl phosphate N-acetylglucosaminyl phosphoryl transferase (L-G1PT). Comparison of the amino acid sequences of L-G1PT from five diverse species showed 75 amino acids identical in all five proteins. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we analyzed the importance of a number of these conserved residues to the enzymatic activity of L-G1PT using a plasmid shuffling procedure in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. S.pombe cells containing a chromosomal deletion of the essential gpt+ gene are rescued by a plasmid containing the S.pombe gpt open reading frame. Replacement of that plasmid by a plasmid encoding a mutated hamster L-G1PT cDNA sequence indicated that the mutated protein provided sufficient enzyme activity to permit cell growth. Mutations of aspartic acid 252 and asparagine 185 did not allow plasmid shuffling, indicating these residues were essential for activity. A combination of mutations at asparagine 182 and tryptophan 122 did not allow plasmid shuffling, although the single mutations did. Overexpression of the mutant proteins in S.pombe conferred tunicamycin (TM) resistance, indicating that the mutant proteins had a conformation necessary for binding TM, a substrate analog. The mutant proteins were also detected in Western blots and were correctly localized to the membrane fractions. However, the overexpressed proteins did not increase the endogenous level of enzymatic activity in these cells, indicating they were enzymatically inactive.
- N-acetylglucosaminylphosphate transferase
- Plasmid shuffling
- Schizosaccharomyces pombe
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