Mammalian O-mannosylation of Cadherins and Plexins is Independent of Protein O-mannosyltransferase 1 and 2

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Protein O-mannosylation is found in yeast and metazoans and a family of conserved orthologous protein O-mannosyltransferases is believed to initiate this important post-translational modification. We recently discovered that the cadherin superfamily carries O-linked mannose (O-Man) glycans at highly conserved residues in specific extracellular cadherin domains, and it was suggested that the function of E-cadherin was dependent on the O-Man glycans. Deficiencies in enzymes catalyzing O-Man biosynthesis, including the two human protein O-mannosyltransferases, POMT1 and POMT2, underlie a subgroup of congenital muscular dystrophies (CMD) designated α-dystroglycanopathies, because deficient O-Man glycosylation of -dystroglycan disrupts laminin interaction with -dystroglycan and the extracellular matrix. In order to explore the functions of O-Man glycans on cadherins and protocadherins we used a combinatorial gene editing strategy in multiple cell lines to evaluate the role of the two POMTs initiating O-Man glycosylation and the major enzyme elongating O-Man glycans, the protein O-mannose β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, POMGnT1. Surprisingly, O-mannosylation of cadherins and protocadherins do not require POMT1 and/or POMT2 in contrast to -dystroglycan, and moreover the O-Man glycans on cadherins are not elongated. Thus, the classical and evolutionary conserved POMT O-mannosylation pathway is essentially dedicated to -dystroglycan and a few other proteins, while a novel O-mannosylation process in mammalian cells is predicted to serve the large cadherin superfamily and other proteins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Pages (from-to)11586-11598
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 179315217