We now recognize that a large number of membrane and soluble proteins contain covalently linked oligosaccharides that exhibit a vast array of structures and participate in a wide variety of biological processes. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the mannose 6-phosphate (Man-6-P) recognition system that mediates the trafficking of newly synthesized acid hydrolases to lysosomes in higher eukaryotes. The Asn-linked high-mannose oligosaccharides of these hydrolases facilitate folding of the nascent proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum via interaction with lectin-type chaperones and after phosphorylation in the Golgi, function as ligands for binding to Man-6-P receptors, a critical step in their transport to lysosomes. Failure to synthesize the Man-6-P recognition marker results in a serious lysosomal storage disease, one of a growing number of genetic conditions, termed congenital disorders of glycosylation, that result from faulty glycan biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3773-3775
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2010


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