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O‑GlcNAc Transferase Recognizes Protein Substrates Using an Asparagine Ladder in the Tetratricopeptide Repeat (TPR) Superhelix

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posted on 27.02.2018, 00:00 by Zebulon G. Levine, Chenguang Fan, Michael S. Melicher, Marina Orman, Tania Benjamin, Suzanne Walker
The essential mammalian enzyme O-GlcNAc Transferase (OGT) is uniquely responsible for transferring N-acetyl­glucosamine to over a thousand nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins, yet there is no known consensus sequence and it remains unclear how OGT recognizes its substrates. To address this question, we developed a protein microarray assay that chemoenzymatically labels de novo sites of glycosylation with biotin, allowing us to simultaneously assess OGT activity across >6000 human proteins. With this assay we examined the contribution to substrate selection of a conserved asparagine ladder within the lumen of OGT’s superhelical tetratrico­peptide repeat (TPR) domain. When five asparagines were mutated, OGT retained significant activity against short peptides, but showed limited limited glycosylation of protein substrates on the microarray. O-GlcNAcylation of protein substrates in cell extracts was also greatly attenuated. We conclude that OGT recognizes the majority of its substrates by binding them to the asparagine ladder in the TPR lumen proximal to the catalytic domain.