O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) catalyzes the installation of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) O-linked to nucleocytoplasmic proteins (O-GlcNAc) within multicellular eukaryotes. OGT shows surprising tolerance for structural changes in the sugar component of its nucleotide sugar donor substrate, uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc). Here, we find that OGT uses UDP-glucose to install O-linked glucose (O-Glc) onto proteins only 25-fold less efficiently than O-GlcNAc. Spurred by this observation, we show that OGT transfers 2-azido-2-deoxy-d-glucose (GlcAz) in vitro from UDP-GlcAz to proteins. Further, feeding cells with per-O-acetyl GlcAz (AcGlcAz), in combination with inhibition or inducible knockout of OGT, shows OGT-dependent modification of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins with O-GlcAz as detected using microscopy, immunoblot, and proteomics. We find that O-GlcAz is reversible within cells, and an unidentified cellular enzyme exists to cleave O-Glc that can also process O-GlcAz. We anticipate that AcGlcAz will prove to be a useful tool to study the O-GlcNAc modification. We also speculate that, given the high concentration of UDP-Glc within certain mammalian tissues, O-Glc may exist within mammals and serve as a physiologically relevant modification.
Shen, D. L., Liu, T.-W., Zandberg, W., Clark, T., Eskandari, R., Alteen, M. G., Tan, H. Y., Zhu, Y., Cecioni, S., & Vocadlo, D. (2017). Catalytic Promiscuity of O-GlcNAc Transferase Enables Unexpected Metabolic Engineering of Cytoplasmic Proteins with 2-Azido-2-deoxy-glucose. ACS Chemical Biology, 12(1), 206–213. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.6b00876
ACS Chemical Biology
Catalytic Promiscuity of O-GlcNAc Transferase Enables Unexpected Metabolic Engineering of Cytoplasmic Proteins with 2-Azido-2-deoxy-glucose
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