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J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 23;286(38):32948-61. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.261248. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

The assembly of proline-rich membrane anchor (PRiMA)-linked acetylcholinesterase enzyme: glycosylation is required for enzymatic activity but not for oligomerization.

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Division of Life Science and Center for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) anchors onto cell membranes by a transmembrane protein PRiMA (proline-rich membrane anchor) as a tetrameric form in vertebrate brain. The assembly of AChE tetramer with PRiMA requires the C-terminal "t-peptide" in AChE catalytic subunit (AChE(T)). Although mature AChE is well known N-glycosylated, the role of glycosylation in forming the physiologically active PRiMA-linked AChE tetramer has not been studied. Here, several lines of evidence indicate that the N-linked glycosylation of AChE(T) plays a major role for acquisition of AChE full enzymatic activity but does not affect its oligomerization. The expression of the AChE(T) mutant, in which all N-glycosylation sites were deleted, together with PRiMA in HEK293T cells produced a glycan-depleted PRiMA-linked AChE tetramer but with a much higher K(m) value as compared with the wild type. This glycan-depleted enzyme was assembled in endoplasmic reticulum but was not transported to Golgi apparatus or plasma membrane.

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