Multiple distinct O-Mannosylation pathways in eukaryotes

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Protein O-mannosylation (O-Man), originally discovered in yeast five decades ago, is an important post-translational modification (PTM) conserved from bacteria to humans, but not found in plants or nematodes. Until recently, the homologous family of ER-located protein O-mannosyl transferases (PMT1-7 in yeast; POMT1/POMT2 in humans), were the only known enzymes involved in directing O-Man biosynthesis in eukaryotes. However, recent studies demonstrate the existence of multiple distinct O-Man glycosylation pathways indicating that the genetic and biosynthetic regulation of O-Man in eukaryotes is more complex than previously envisioned. Introduction of sensitive glycoproteomics strategies provided an expansion of O-Man glycoproteomes in eukaryotes (yeast and mammalian cell lines) leading to the discovery of O-Man glycosylation on important mammalian cell adhesion (cadherin superfamily) and signaling (plexin family) macromolecules, and to the discovery of unique nucleocytoplasmic O-Man glycosylation in yeast. It is now evident that eukaryotes have multiple distinct O-Man glycosylation pathways including: i) the classical PMT1-7 and POMT1/POMT2 pathway conserved in all eukaryotes apart from plants; ii) a yet uncharacterized nucleocytoplasmic pathway only found in yeast; iii) an ER-located pathway directed by the TMTC1-4 genes found in metazoans and protists and primarily dedicated to the cadherin superfamily; and iv) a yet uncharacterized pathway found in metazoans primarily dedicated to plexins. O-Man glycosylation is thus emerging as a much more widespread and evolutionary diverse PTM with complex genetic and biosynthetic regulation. While deficiencies in the POMT1/POMT2 O-Man pathway underlie muscular dystrophies, the TMTC1-4 pathway appear to be involved in distinct congenital disorders with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Here, we review and discuss the recent discoveries of the new non-classical O-Man glycosylation pathways, their substrates, functions and roles in disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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