Protein glycosylation as an adaptive response inArchaea: growth at different salt concentrations leads to alterations inHaloferax volcaniiS-layer glycoprotein N-glycosylation

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Abstract

Summary

To cope with life in hypersaline environments, halophilic archaeal proteins are enriched in acidic amino acids. This strategy does not, however, offer a response to transient changes in salinity, as would post-translational modifications. To test this hypothesis, N-glycosylation of theHaloferax volcaniiS-layer glycoprotein was compared in cells grown in high (3.4 M NaCl) and low (1.75 M NaCl) salt, as was the glycan bound to dolichol phosphate, the lipid upon which the N-linked glycan is assembled. In high salt, S-layer glycoprotein Asn-13 and Asn-83 are modified by a pentasaccharide, while dolichol phosphate is modified by a tetrasaccharide comprising the first four pentasaccharide residues. When the same targets were considered from cells grown in low salt, substantially less pentasaccharide was detected. At the same time, cells grown at low salinity contain dolichol phosphate modified by a distinct tetrasaccharide absent in cells grown at high salinity. The same tetrasaccharide modified S-layer glycoprotein Asn-498 in cells grown in low salt, whereas no glycan decorated this residue in cells grown in the high-salt medium. Thus, in response to changes in environmental salinity,Hfx. volcaniinot only modulates the N-linked glycans decorating the S-layer glycoprotein but also the sites of such post-translational modification.

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