Recent Progress in Structural Studies on the GT-C Superfamily of Protein Glycosyltransferases

Subcell Biochem. 2021:96:259-271. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-58971-4_6.


Protein glycosylation is an essential covalent modification involved in protein secretion, stability, binding, folding, and activity. One or more sugars may be O-, N-, S-, or C-linked to specific amino acids by glycosyltransferases, which catalyze the transfer of these sugars from a phosphate-containing carrier molecule. Most glycosyltransferases are members of the GT-A, GT-B, or GT-C structural superfamilies. GT-C enzymes are integral membrane proteins that utilize a phospho-isoprenoid carrier for sugar transfer. To-date, two families of GT-Cs involved in protein glycosylation have been structurally characterized: the family represented by PglB, AglB, and Stt3, which catalyzes oligosaccharide transfer to Asn, and the family represented by Pmt1 and Pmt2, which catalyzes mannose transfer to Thr or Ser. This chapter reviews progress made over recent years on the structure and function of these two GT-C families.

Keywords: Cryo-EM; Glycosyltransferase C fold (GT-C fold); Glycosyltransferases; Protein N-glycosylation; Protein O-mannosylation; Structural biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glycosylation
  • Glycosyltransferases / chemistry*
  • Glycosyltransferases / classification*
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Glycosyltransferases