Control of glycoprotein synthesis

J Biol Chem. 1983 May 25;258(10):6162-73.


Hen oviduct membranes have been shown to catalyze the transfer of GlcNAc from UDP-GlcNAc to GlcNAc-beta 1-2Man alpha 1-6(GlcNAc beta 1-2 Man alpha 1-3) Man beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc-Asn-X (GnGn) to form the triantennary structure GlcNAc beta 1-2Man alpha 1-6[GlcNAc beta 1-2(GlcNAc beta 1-4)Man alpha 1-3]Man beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc-Asn-X. The enzyme has been named UDP-GlcNAc:GnGn (GlcNAc to Man alpha 1-3) beta 4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase IV (GlcNAc-transferase IV) to distinguish it from three other hen oviduct GlcNAc-transferases designated I, II, and III. Since GlcNAc-transferases III and IV both act on the same substrate, concanavalin A/Sepharose was used to separate the products of the two enzymes. At pH 7.0 and at a Triton X-100 concentration of 0.125% (v/v), GlcNAc-transferase IV activity in hen oviduct membranes is 7 nmol/mg of protein/h. The product was characterized by high resolution proton NMR spectroscopy at 360 MHz and by methylation analysis. In addition to triantennary oligosaccharide, hen oviduct membranes produced about 20% of bisected triantennary material, GlcNAc beta 1-2Man alpha 1-6[GlcNAc beta 1-2(GlcNAc beta 1-4)Man alpha 1-3] [GlcNAc beta 1-4]Man beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc-Asn-X. Maximal GlcNAc-transferase IV activity requires the presence of both terminal beta 1-2-linked GlcNAc residues in the substrate. Removal of the GlcNAc residue on the Man alpha 1-6 arm or of both GlcNAc residues reduces activity by at least 80%. A Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc disaccharide on the Man alpha 1-6 arm reduces activity by 68% while the presence of this disaccharide on the Man alpha 1-3 arm reduces activity to negligible levels. A similar substrate specificity was found for GlcNAc-transferase III, the enzyme which adds a bisecting GlcNAc in beta 1-4 linkage to the beta-linked Man residue. Since a bisecting GlcNAc was found to prevent GlcNAc-transferase IV action, the bisected triantennary material found in the incubation must have been formed by the sequential action of GlcNAc-transferase IV followed by GlcNAc-transferase III. Activities similar to GlcNAc-transferase IV were also detected in rat liver Golgi-rich membranes (0.4 nmol/mg/h) and pig thyroid microsomes (0.1 nmol/mg/h).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Chickens
  • Female
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Glycopeptides / metabolism
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases*
  • Octoxynol
  • Oviducts / enzymology*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Swine
  • Thyroid Gland / enzymology
  • Uridine Diphosphate N-Acetylglucosamine / metabolism


  • Glycopeptides
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Uridine Diphosphate N-Acetylglucosamine
  • Octoxynol
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • alpha-1,3-mannosylglycoprotein beta-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase
  • Acetylglucosamine