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, 282 (34), 24882-92

Site-specific Fucosylation of Sialylated Polylactosamines by alpha1,3/4-fucosyltransferases-V and -VI Is Defined by Amino Acids Near the N Terminus of the Catalytic Domain

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Site-specific Fucosylation of Sialylated Polylactosamines by alpha1,3/4-fucosyltransferases-V and -VI Is Defined by Amino Acids Near the N Terminus of the Catalytic Domain

Susan Shetterly et al. J Biol Chem.

Abstract

Fucose transfer from GDP-fucose to GlcNAc residues of the sialylated polylactosamine acceptor NeuAcalpha2-3Galbeta1-4Glc-NAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4Glcbeta1-ceramide leads to two isomeric monofucosyl antigens, VIM2 and sialyl-Le(x). Human alpha1,3/4-fucosyltransferase (FucT)-V catalyzes primarily the synthesis of VIM2, whereas human FucT-VI catalyzes primarily the synthesis of sialyl-Le(x). Thus, these two enzymes have distinct "site-specific fucosylation" properties. Amino acid sequence alignment of these enzymes showed that there are 24 amino acid differences in their catalytic domains. Studies were conducted to determine which of the amino acid differences are responsible for the site-specific fucosylation properties of each enzyme. Domain swapping (replacing a portion of the catalytic domain from one enzyme with an analogous portion from the other enzyme) demonstrated that site-specific fucosylation was defined within a 40-amino acid segment containing 8 amino acid differences between the two enzymes. Site-directed mutagenesis studies demonstrated that the site-specific fucosylation properties of these enzymes could be reversed by substituting 4 amino acids from one sequence with the other. These results were observed in both in vitro enzyme assays and flow cytometric analyses of Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with plasmids containing the various enzyme constructs. Modeling studies of human FucT using a structure of a bacterial fucosyltransferase as a template demonstrated that the amino acids responsible for site-specific fucosylation map near the GDP-fucose-binding site. Additional enzyme studies demonstrated that FucT-VI has approximately 12-fold higher activity compared with FucT-V and that the Trp(124)/Arg(110) site in these enzymes is responsible primarily for this activity difference.

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