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A study of the structural properties of sites modified by the O-linked 6-N-acetylglucosamine transferase

A study of the structural properties of sites modified by the O-linked 6-N-acetylglucosamine transferase

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  • Thiago Britto-Borges
  • Geoffrey J Barton

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0184405
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2017


Protein O-GlcNAcylation (O-GlcNAc) is an essential post-translational modification (PTM) in higher eukaryotes. The O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT), targets specific Serines and Threonines (S/T) in intracellular proteins. However, unlike phosphorylation, fewer than 25% of known O-GlcNAc sites match a clear sequence pattern. Accordingly, the three-dimensional structures of O-GlcNAc sites were characterised to investigate the role of structure in molecular recognition. From 1,584 O-GlcNAc sites in 620 proteins, 143 were mapped to protein structures determined by X-ray crystallography. The modified S/T were 1.7 times more likely to be annotated in the REM465 field which defines missing residues in a protein structure, while 7 O-GlcNAc sites were solvent inaccessible and unlikely to be targeted by OGT. 132 sites with complete backbone atoms clustered into 10 groups, but these were indistinguishable from clusters from unmodified S/T. This suggests there is no prevalent three-dimensional motif for OGT recognition. Predicted features from the 620 proteins were compared to unmodified S/T in O-GlcNAcylated proteins and globular proteins. The Jpred4 predicted secondary structure shows that modified S/T were more likely to be coils. 5/6 methods to predict intrinsic disorder indicated O-GlcNAcylated S/T to be significantly more disordered than unmodified S/T. Although the analysis did not find a pattern in the site three-dimensional structure, it revealed the residues around the modification site are likely to be disordered and suggests a potential role of secondary structure elements in OGT site recognition.

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    Copyright: © 2017 Britto-Borges, Barton. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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