Why are proteins O-glycosylated?

Trends Biochem Sci. 1990 Aug;15(8):291-4. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(90)90014-3.


The O-linked oligosaccharides of glycoproteins are usually clustered within heavily glycosylated regions of the peptide chain. Steric interactions between carbohydrate and peptide within these clusters induce the peptide core to adopt a stiff and extended conformation and this conformational effect appears to represent a major function of O-glycosylation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Glycosylation
  • Protein Conformation


  • Glycoproteins