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O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors

O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors: current tools and future challenges

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Early online date9 Feb 2016
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2016


The O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) post-translational modification (O-GlcNAcylation) is the dynamic and reversible attachment of N-acetylglucosamine to serine and threonine residues of nucleocytoplasmic target proteins. It is abundant in metazoa, involving hundreds of proteins linked to a plethora of biological functions with implications in human diseases. The process is catalysed by two enzymes: O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA) that add and remove sugar moieties respectively. OGT knockout is embryonic lethal in a range of animal models, hampering the study of the biological role of O-GlcNAc and the dissection of catalytic compared with non-catalytic roles of OGT. Therefore, selective and potent chemical tools are necessary to inhibit OGT activity in the context of biological systems. The present review focuses on the available OGT inhibitors and summarizes advantages, limitations and future challenges.



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