, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 725-731

GM1 Synthase Depends on N-Glycosylation for Enzyme Activity and Trafficking to the Golgi Complex

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Glycosyltransferase cDNAs contain a variable number of potential N-glycosylation sites. Here we examined the occupancy and relevance for the activity and intracellular trafficking of the only potential N-glycosylation site of the mouse β1,3galactosyltransferase (Gal-T2 or GA1/GM1/GD1b synthase) in Gal-T2 cDNA transfected CHO-K1 cells. Transfected cells synthesize a Golgi located active enzyme of 43 kDa whose N-glycan was metabolically labeled from [3H]mannose and was Endo-H sensitive. Inhibition of N-glycosylation by Tunicamycin or by point mutation of the N-glycosylation site resulted in the synthesis of a polypeptide of 40 kDa which lacked enzyme activity and was concentrated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Inhibition of ER glucosidases by Castanospermine impaired the exit of a form of Gal-T2 having reduced enzyme activity from the ER. The N-terminal Gal-T2 domain (aa 1–52) was able to direct and to retain the green fluorescence protein in the Golgi complex. Taken together, these results indicate that Gal-T2 depends on N-glycosylation for its activity and for proper trafficking to, but not its retention in, the Golgi complex.