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J Biol Chem. 2017 Nov 10;292(45):18644-18659. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.809301. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Characterization of a cytoplasmic glucosyltransferase that extends the core trisaccharide of the Toxoplasma Skp1 E3 ubiquitin ligase subunit.

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From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, and.
the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and.
the Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602.
the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York 14260.
From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,


Skp1 is a subunit of the SCF (Skp1/Cullin 1/F-box protein) class of E3 ubiquitin ligases that are important for eukaryotic protein degradation. Unlike its animal counterparts, Skp1 from Toxoplasma gondii is hydroxylated by an O2-dependent prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PhyA), and the resulting hydroxyproline can subsequently be modified by a five-sugar chain. A similar modification is found in the social amoeba Dictyostelium, where it regulates SCF assembly and O2-dependent development. Homologous glycosyltransferases assemble a similar core trisaccharide in both organisms, and a bifunctional α-galactosyltransferase from CAZy family GT77 mediates the addition of the final two sugars in Dictyostelium, generating Galα1, 3Galα1,3Fucα1,2Galβ1,3GlcNAcα1-. Here, we found that Toxoplasma utilizes a cytoplasmic glycosyltransferase from an ancient clade of CAZy family GT32 to catalyze transfer of the fourth sugar. Catalytically active Glt1 was required for the addition of the terminal disaccharide in cells, and cytosolic extracts catalyzed transfer of [3H]glucose from UDP-[3H]glucose to the trisaccharide form of Skp1 in a glt1-dependent fashion. Recombinant Glt1 catalyzed the same reaction, confirming that it directly mediates Skp1 glucosylation, and NMR demonstrated formation of a Glcα1,3Fuc linkage. Recombinant Glt1 strongly preferred the full core trisaccharide attached to Skp1 and labeled only Skp1 in glt1Δ extracts, suggesting specificity for Skp1. glt1-knock-out parasites exhibited a growth defect not rescued by catalytically inactive Glt1, indicating that the glycan acts in concert with the first enzyme in the pathway, PhyA, in cells. A genomic bioinformatics survey suggested that Glt1 belongs to the ancestral Skp1 glycosylation pathway in protists and evolved separately from related Golgi-resident GT32 glycosyltransferases.


E3 ubiquitin ligase; Toxoplasma gondii; carbohydrate structure; cytoplasmic glycosylation; evolution; glycobiology; glycosyltransferase; mass spectrometry (MS)

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