Different routes to the same ending: comparing the N-glycosylation processes of Haloferax volcanii and Haloarcula marismortui, two halophilic archaea from the Dead Sea.
Recent insight into the N-glycosylation pathway of the haloarchaeon, Haloferax volcanii, is helping to bridge the gap between our limited understanding of the archaeal version of this universal post-translational modification and the better-described eukaryal and bacterial processes. To delineate as yet undefined steps of the Hfx. volcanii N-glycosylation pathway, a comparative approach was taken with the initial characterization of N-glycosylation in Haloarcula marismortui, a second haloarchaeon also originating from the Dead Sea. While both species decorate the reporter glycoprotein, the S-layer glycoprotein, with the same N-linked pentasaccharide and employ dolichol phosphate as lipid glycan carrier, species-specific differences in the two N-glycosylation pathways exist. Specifically, Har. marismortui first assembles the complete pentasaccharide on dolichol phosphate and only then transfers the glycan to the target protein, as in the bacterial N-glycosylation pathway. In contrast, Hfx. volcanii initially transfers the first four pentasaccharide subunits from a common dolichol phosphate carrier to the target protein and only then delivers the final pentasaccharide subunit from a distinct dolichol phosphate to the N-linked tetrasaccharide, reminiscent of what occurs in eukaryal N-glycosylation. This study further indicates the extraordinary diversity of N-glycosylation pathways in Archaea, as compared with the relatively conserved parallel processes in Eukarya and Bacteria.
Calo, D; Guan, Z; Naparstek, S; Eichler, J
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