Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.20, 8783-8797, 2018
A functional polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (PGANT) initiates O-glycosylation in cultured silkworm BmN4 cells
Mucin-type O-glycosylation is initiated by UDP-GalNAc:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (ppGalNAc-Ts or PGANTs), attaching GalNAc to serine or threonine residue of a protein substrate. In the insect model from Lepidoptera, silkworm (Bombyx mori), however, O-glycosylation pathway is totally unexplored and remains largely unknown. In this study, as the first report regarding protein O-glycosylation analysis in silkworms, we verified the O-glycan profile that a common core 1 Gal (1-3) GalNAc disaccharide branch without terminally sialylated structure is mainly formed for a baculovirus-produced human proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) protein. Intriguingly, functional screenings in cultured silkworm BmN4 cells for nine Bmpgants reveal that Bmpgant2 is the solo functional BmPGANT for PRG4, implying that Bmpgants may have unique cell/tissue or protein substrate preferences. Furthermore, a recombinant BmPGANT2 protein was successfully purified from silkworm-BEVS and exhibited a high ability to transfer GalNAc for both peptide and protein substrates. Taken together, the present results clarified the functional BmPGANT2 in cultured silkworm cells, providing crucial fundamental insights for future studies dissecting the detailed silkworm O-glycosylation pathways and productions of glycoproteins with O-glycans.