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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Jul;15(7):364-70.

The glycan code of the endoplasmic reticulum: asparagine-linked carbohydrates as protein maturation and quality-control tags.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. dhebert@biochem.umass.edu

Abstract

The majority of proteins that traverse the secretory pathway receive asparagine (Asn)-linked glycosylations. Glycans are bulky hydrophilic modifications that serve a variety of structural and functional roles within the cell. Here, we review the recent growing knowledge on the role of Asn-linked glycans as maturation and quality-control protein tags in the early secretory pathway. The carbohydrate composition encodes crucial information about the structure, localization and age of glycoproteins. The "glycan code" is encoded by a series of glycosidases and carbohydrate transferases that line the secretory pathway. This code is deciphered by carbohydrate-binding proteins that possess distinct carbohydrate binding properties and act as molecular chaperones or sorting receptors. These glycosidases and transferases work in concert with resident secretory pathway carbohydrate-binding proteins to form a network that assists in the maturation and trafficking of both native and aberrant glycoproteins within the cell.

PMID:
15939591
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2005.05.007
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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