Localization of O-GlcNAc modification on the serum response transcription factor

J Biol Chem. 1992 Aug 25;267(24):16911-21.


A unique form of nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic protein glycosylation, O-linked GlcNAc, has previously been detected, using Gal transferase labeling techniques, on a myriad of proteins (for review see Hart, G. W., Haltiwanger, R. S., Holt, G. D., and Kelly, W. G. (1989a) Annu. Rev. Biochem. 58, 841-874), including many RNA polymerase II transcription factors (Jackson, S. P., and Tjian, R. (1988) Cell 55, 125-133). However, virtually nothing is known about the degree of glycosylation at individual sites, or, indeed, the actual sites of attachment of O-GlcNAc on transcription factors. In this paper we provide rigorous evidence for the occurrence and locations of O-GlcNAc on the c-fos transcription factor, serum response factor (SRF), expressed in an insect cell line. Fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FAB-MS) of proteolytic digests of SRF provides evidence for the presence of a single substoichiometric O-GlcNAc residue on each of four peptides isolated after sequential cyanogen bromide, tryptic, and proline specific enzyme digestion: these peptides are 306VSASVSP312, 274GTTSTIQTAP283, 313SAVSSADGTVLK324, and 374DSSTDLTQTSSSGTVTLP391. Using an array of techniques, including manual Edman degradation, aminopeptidase, and elastase digestion, together with FAB-MS, the major sites of O-GlcNAc attachment were shown to be serine residues within short tandem repeat regions. The highest level of glycosylation was found on the SSS tandem repeat of peptide (374-391) which is situated within the transcriptional activation domain of SRF. The other glycosylation sites observed in SRF are located in the region of the protein between the DNA binding domain and the transcriptional activation domain. Glycosylation of peptides (274-283) and (313-324) was found to occur on the serine in the TTST tandem repeat and on serine 316 in the SS repeat, respectively. The lowest level of glycosylation was recovered in peptide (306-312) which lacks tandem repeats. All the glycosylation sites identified in SRF are situated in a relatively short region of the primary sequence close to or within the transcriptional activation domain which is distant from the major sites of phosphorylation catalyzed by casein kinase II.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / analysis*
  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Genes, fos
  • Glycosylation
  • Insecta
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Peptide Fragments / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Serum Response Factor
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Fast Atom Bombardment
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transfection


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Serum Response Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • Acetylglucosamine