O-Mannosylation and human disease
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Glycosylation of proteins is arguably the most prevalent co- and post-translational modification. It is responsible for increased heterogeneity and functional diversity of proteins. Here we discuss the importance of one type of glycosylation, specifically O-mannosylation and its relationship to a number of human diseases. The most widely studied O-mannose modified protein is alpha-dystroglycan (α-DG). Recent studies have focused intensely on α-DG due to the severity of diseases associated with its improper glycosylation. O-mannosylation of α-DG is involved in cancer metastasis, arenavirus entry, and multiple forms of congenital muscular dystrophy [1, 2]. In this review, we discuss the structural and functional characteristics of O-mannose-initiated glycan structures on α-DG, enzymes involved in the O-mannosylation pathway, and the diseases that are a direct result of disruptions within this pathway.