Structure and Function of β -1,4-Galactosyltransferase

Author(s): Pradman K. Qasba, Boopathy Ramakrishnan, Elizabeth Boeggeman

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 9 , Issue 4 , 2008

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Beta-1,4-galactosylransferase (β4Gal-T1) participates in the synthesis of Galβ1-4-GlcNAc-disaccharide unit of glycoconjugates. It is a trans-Golgi glycosyltransferase (Glyco-T) with a type II membrane protein topology, a short Nterminal cytoplasmic domain, a membrane-spanning region, as well as a stem and a C-terminal catalytic domain facing the trans-Golgi-lumen. Its hydrophobic membrane-spanning region, like that of other Glyco-T, has a shorter length compared to plasma membrane proteins, an important feature for its retention in the trans-Golgi. The catalytic domain has two flexible loops, a long and a small one. The primary metal binding site is located at the N-terminal hinge region of the long flexible loop. Upon binding of metal ion and sugar-nucleotide, the flexible loops undergo a marked conformational change, from an open to a closed conformation. Conformational change simultaneously creates at the C-terminal region of the flexible loop an oligosaccharide acceptor binding site that did not exist before. The loop acts as a lid covering the bound donor substrate. After completion of the transfer of the glycosyl unit to the acceptor, the saccharide product is ejected; the loop reverts to its native conformation to release the remaining nucleotide moiety. The conformational change in β4Gal-T1 also creates the binding site for a mammary gland-specific protein, α-lactalbumin (LA), which changes the acceptor specificity of the enzyme toward glucose to synthesize lactose during lactation. The specificity of the sugar donor is generally determined by a few residues in the sugar-nucleotide binding pocket of Glyco-T, conserved among the family members from different species. Mutation of these residues has allowed us to design new and novel glycosyltransferases, with broader or requisite donor and acceptor specificities, and to synthesize specific complex carbohydrates as well as specific inhibitors for these enzymes.

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Article Details

Year: 2008
Page: [292 - 309]
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.2174/138945008783954943
Price: $65

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