The abundant and dynamic post-translational modification of nuclear and cytosolic proteins by β-O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is catalyzed by O-Glc-NAc transferase (OGT). Here we used the yeast two-hybrid approach to identify and isolate GABAA receptor-associated protein, GRIF-1 (Beck, M., Brickley, K., Wilkinson, H. L., Sharma, S., Smith, M., Chazot, P. L., Pollard, S., and Stephenson, F. A. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 30079-30090), and its novel homolog, OIP106 (KIAA1042), as novel OGT-interacting proteins. The proteins are highly similar to each other but are encoded by two separate genes. Both GRIF-1 and OIP106 contain coiled-coil domains and interact with the tetratricopeptide repeats of OGT. GRIF-1 and OIP106 are modified by O-GlcNAc and therefore are substrates for OGT. However, unlike another high affinity protein substrate, such as nucleoporin p62, OIP106 and GRIF-1 co-immunoprecipitate with OGT, exhibiting stable in vitro and in vivo associations. Whereas GRIF-1 has been reported to be expressed only in excitable tissue, OIP106 is expressed in all human cell lines that were examined. Confocal and electron microscopy show that OIP106 localizes to nuclear punctae in HeLa cells and co-localizes with RNA polymerase II. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirm the presence of an in vivo RNA polymerase II-OIP106-OGT complex, suggesting that OIP106 may target OGT to transcriptional complexes for glycosylation of transcriptional proteins, such as RNA polymerase II, and transcription factors. Similarly, GRIF-1 may serve to target OGT to GABAA receptor complexes for mediating GABA signaling cascades.
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