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Free Content Molecular cloning and characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana Golgi α-mannosidase II, a key enzyme in the formation of complex N-glycans in plants

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N-glycosylation is one of the major post-translational modifications of proteins in eukaryotes; however, the processing reactions of oligomannosidic N-glycan precursors leading to hybrid-type and finally complex-type N-glycans are not fully understood in plants. To investigate the role of Golgi α-mannosidase II (GMII) in the formation of complex N-glycans in plants, we identified a putative GMII from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtGMII; EC and characterized the enzyme at a molecular level. The putative AtGMII cDNA was cloned, and its deduced amino acid sequence revealed a typical type II membrane protein of 1173 amino acids. A soluble recombinant form of the enzyme produced in insect cells was capable of processing different physiologically relevant hybrid N-glycans. Furthermore, a detailed N-glycan analysis of two AtGMII knockout mutants revealed the predominant presence of unprocessed hybrid N-glycans. These results provide evidence that AtGMII plays a central role in the formation of complex N-glycans in plants. Furthermore, conclusive evidence was obtained that alternative routes in the conversion of hybrid N-glycans to complex N-glycans exist in plants. Transient expression of N-terminal AtGMII fragments fused to a GFP reporter molecule demonstrated that the transmembrane domain and 10 amino acids from the cytoplasmic tail are sufficient to retain a reporter molecule in the Golgi apparatus and that lumenal sequences are not involved in the retention mechanism. A GFP fusion construct containing only the transmembrane domain was predominantly retained in the ER, a result that indicates the presence of a motif promoting ER export within the last 10 amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail of AtGMII.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Golgi mannosidase II; Golgi targeting; N-glycosylation; glycosyl hydrolase

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology and 2: Department of Chemistry, BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, A-1190 Vienna, Austria

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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