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Engineering the Pattern of Protein Glycosylation Modulates the Thermostability of a GH11 Xylanase.

Fonseca-Maldonado R, Vieira DS, Alponti JS, Bonneil E, Thibault P, Ward RJ

From the Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo CEP 14049-900, Brazil.

Protein glycosylation is a common post-translational modification, the effect of which on protein conformational and stability is incompletely understood. Here we have investigated the effects of glycosylation on the thermostability of Bacillus subtilis xylanase A (XynA) expressed in Pichia pastoris. Intact mass analysis of the heterologous wild-type XynA revealed two, three, or four Hex8-16GlcNAc2 modifications involving asparagine residues at positions 20, 25, 141, and 181. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the XynA modified with various combinations of branched Hex9GlcNAc2 at these positions indicated a significant contribution from protein-glycan interactions to the overall energy of the glycoproteins. The effect of glycan content and glycosylation position on protein stability was evaluated by combinatorial mutagenesis of all six potential N-glycosylation sites. The majority of glycosylated enzymes expressed in P. pastoris presented increased thermostability in comparison with their unglycosylated counterparts expressed in Escherichia coli. Steric effects of multiple glycosylation events were apparent, and glycosylation position rather than the number of glycosylation events determined increases in thermostability. The MD simulations also indicated that clustered glycan chains tended to favor less stabilizing glycan-glycan interactions, whereas more dispersed glycosylation patterns favored stabilizing protein-glycan interactions.

J. Biol. Chem. 2013;288(35):25522-34.

Pubmed ID: 23846692

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