Different glycosyltransferases are involved in lipid glycosylation and protein N-glycosylation in the halophilic archaeonHaloferax volcanii

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Both the lipid and the protein components of biological membranes can be modified by the covalent addition of polysaccharides. Whereas eukaryal and bacterial pathways of lipid and protein glycosylation are relatively well defined, considerably less is known of the parallel processes in Archaea. Recent efforts have identified glycosyltransferases involved in N-glycosylation of the surface-layer glycoprotein of the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii. In the present study, the involvement of these same glycosyltransferases in the biosynthesis of Hfx. volcanii glycolipids was considered by performing nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the glycolipid fraction of Hfx. volcanii cells deleted of genes encoding those glycosyltransferases, as well as the oligosaccharyltransferase, AglB. The results reveal that different glycosyltransferases are involved in the biosynthesis of N-linked glycoproteins and glycolipids in Archaea.

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