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Biochemistry. 2018 Feb 20;57(7):1166-1177. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00557. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Structural and Biophysical Characterization of Human EXTL3: Domain Organization, Glycosylation, and Solution Structure.

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Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Centre for Molecular Protein Science, Deptartment of Chemistry, Lund University , SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden.
Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Cairo University , 12316 Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Experimental Medical Science, Division of Neuroscience, Glycobiology Group, Lund University , SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden.


Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are proteins substituted with one or more heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides, found in abundance at cell surfaces. HS chains influence the activity of many biologically important molecules involved in cellular communication and signaling. The exostosin (EXT) proteins are glycosyltransferases in the Golgi apparatus that assemble HS chains on HSPGs. The EXTL3 enzyme mainly works as an initiator in HS biosynthesis. In this work, human lumenal N-glycosylated EXTL3 (EXTL3ΔN) was cloned, expressed in human embryonic kidney cells, and purified. Various biophysical and biochemical approaches were then employed to elucidate the N-glycosylation sites and the function of their attached N-glycans. Furthermore, the stability and conformation of the purified EXTL3ΔN protein in solution have been analyzed. Our data show that EXTL3ΔN has N-glycans at least at two positions, Asn290 and Asn592, which seem to be critical for proper protein folding and/or release. EXTL3ΔN is quite stable, as high temperature (∼59 °C) was required for denaturation. Deconvolution of the EXTL3ΔN far-UV CD spectrum revealed a substantial fraction of β sheets (25%) with a minor proportion of α-helices (14%) in the secondary structure. Solution small-angle X-ray scattering and dynamic light scattering revealed an extended structure suggestive of a dimeric arrangement and consisting of two distinct regions, narrow and broad, respectively. This is consistent with bioinformatics analyses suggesting a 3-domain structure with two glycosyltransferase domains and a coiled-coil domain.

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