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J Mol Biol. 2009 Oct 23;393(2):435-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.08.021. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

The 1.9 a structure of human alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase: The molecular basis of Schindler and Kanzaki diseases.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 01003, USA.


alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (alpha-NAGAL; E.C. is a lysosomal exoglycosidase that cleaves terminal alpha-N-acetylgalactosamine residues from glycopeptides and glycolipids. In humans, a deficiency of alpha-NAGAL activity results in the lysosomal storage disorders Schindler disease and Kanzaki disease. To better understand the molecular defects in the diseases, we determined the crystal structure of human alpha-NAGAL after expressing wild-type and glycosylation-deficient glycoproteins in recombinant insect cell expression systems. We measured the enzymatic parameters of our purified wild-type and mutant enzymes, establishing their enzymatic equivalence. To investigate the binding specificity and catalytic mechanism of the human alpha-NAGAL enzyme, we determined three crystallographic complexes with different catalytic products bound in the active site of the enzyme. To better understand how individual defects in the alpha-NAGAL glycoprotein lead to Schindler disease, we analyzed the effect of disease-causing mutations on the three-dimensional structure.

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