c-Myc is a helix-loop-helix leucine zipper phosphoprotein that heterodimerizes with Max and regulates gene transcription in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and programmed cell death. Previously, we demonstrated that c-Myc is modified by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O- GlcNAc) within or nearby the N-terminal transcriptional activation domain (Chou, T.-Y., Dang, C. V., and Hart, G. W. (1995) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 92, 4417-4421). In this paper, we identified the O-GlcNAc attachment site(s) on c-Myc. c-Myc purified from sf9 insect cells was trypsinized, and its GlcNAc moieties were enzymically labeled with [3H]galactose. The [3H]galactose-labeled glycopeptides were isolated by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography and then subjected to gas-phase sequencing, manual Edman degradation, and laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. These analyses show that threonine 58, an in vivo phosphorylation site in the transactivation domain, is the major O-GlcNAc glycosylation site of c-Myc. Mutation of threonine 58, frequently found in retroviral v-Myc proteins and in human Burkitt and AIDS-related lymphomas, is associated with enhanced transforming activity and tumorigenicity. The reciprocal glycosylation and phosphorylation at this biologically significant amino acid residue may play an important role in the regulation of the functions of c-Myc.
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