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EMBO J. 2006 May 3;25(9):1957-66. Epub 2006 Apr 13.

Definition of the bacterial N-glycosylation site consensus sequence.

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Institute of Microbiology, Department of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETH Hönggerberg, Switzerland.


The Campylobacter jejuni pgl locus encodes an N-linked protein glycosylation machinery that can be functionally transferred into Escherichia coli. In this system, we analyzed the elements in the C. jejuni N-glycoprotein AcrA required for accepting an N-glycan. We found that the eukaryotic primary consensus sequence for N-glycosylation is N terminally extended to D/E-Y-N-X-S/T (Y, X not equalP) for recognition by the bacterial oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) PglB. However, not all consensus sequences were N-glycosylated when they were either artificially introduced or when they were present in non-C. jejuni proteins. We were able to produce recombinant glycoproteins with engineered N-glycosylation sites and confirmed the requirement for a negatively charged side chain at position -2 in C. jejuni N-glycoproteins. N-glycosylation of AcrA by the eukaryotic OST in Saccharomyces cerevisiae occurred independent of the acidic residue at the -2 position. Thus, bacterial N-glycosylation site selection is more specific than the eukaryotic equivalent with respect to the polypeptide acceptor sequence.

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