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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 2;276(9):6485-98. Epub 2000 Nov 6.

C-mannosylation and O-fucosylation of the thrombospondin type 1 module.

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  • 1Friedrich Miescher-Institut, P. O. Box 2543, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is a multidomain protein that has been implicated in cell adhesion, motility, and growth. Some of these functions have been localized to the three thrombospondin type 1 repeats (TSRs), modules of approximately 60 amino acids in length with conserved Cys and Trp residues. The Trp residues occur in WXXW patterns, which are the recognition motifs for protein C-mannosylation. This modification involves the attachment of an alpha-mannosyl residue to the C-2 atom of the first tryptophan. Analysis of human platelet TSP-1 revealed that Trp-368, -420, -423, and -480 are C-mannosylated. Mannosylation also occurred in recombinant, baculovirally expressed TSR modules from Sf9 and "High Five" cells, contradictory to earlier reports that such cells do not carry out this reaction. In the course of these studies it was appreciated that the TSRs in TSP-1 undergo a second form of unusual glycosylation. By using a novel mass spectrometric approach, it was found that Ser-377, Thr-432, and Thr-489 in the motif CSX(S/T)CG carry the O-linked disaccharide Glc-Fuc-O-Ser/Thr. This is the first protein in which such a disaccharide has been identified, although protein O-fucosylation is well described in epidermal growth factor-like modules. Both C- and O-glycosylations take place on residues that have been implicated in the interaction of TSP-1 with glycosaminoglycans or other cellular receptors.

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