Purification and characterization of an O-GlcNAc selective N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase from rat spleen cytosol

Dennis L Y Dong, Gerald Warren Hart

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Glycosylation of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) monosaccharides is an abundant, ubiquitous, and transient post-translational modification. To characterize enzymes involved in removal of these sugars, a neutral and cytoplasmic N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (O-GlcNA-case) with strong selectivity for O-GlcNAc-synthetic glycopeptides has been purified over 22,000-fold from rat spleen homogenate. The purified O-GlcNAcase has two major polypeptides of apparent Mr = 54,000 (α subunit) and Mr = 51,000 (β subunit). Enzyme activity sediments at Mr = 106,000 on sucrose gradients, indicating that the native O-GlcNAcase is an αβ heterodimer. The O-GlcNA-case also shows substantially stronger relative activity against O-GlcNAc-synthetic glycopeptides than other hexosaminidases. Unlike acidic lysosomal hexosaminidases, O-GlcNAcase is not inhibited by GalNAc or its analogs, has no other detectable glycosidase activities, and does not cross-react with antibodies against acidic hexosaminidases. Subcellular fractionation and latency studies demonstrate the cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic localization of the enzyme and its ubiquitous presence in tissues. These studies suggest that O-GlcNAcase is involved in the regulated removal of O-GlcNAc from O-GlcNAc-bearing glycoproteins in the nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic compartments of cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19321-19330
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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