Exploiting bacterial glycosylation machineries for the synthesis of a Lewis antigen-containing glycoprotein

Isabelle Hug, Blake Zheng, Bela Reiz, Randy M. Whittal, Messele A. Fentabil, John S. Klassen, Mario F. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Glycoproteins constitute a class of compounds of increasing importance for pharmaceutical applications. The manipulation of bacterial protein glycosylation systems from Gram-negative bacteria for the synthesis of recombinant glycoproteins is a promising alternative to the current production methods. Proteins carrying Lewis antigens have been shown to have potential applications for the treatment of diverse autoimmune diseases. In this work, we developed a mixed approach consisting of in vivo and in vitro steps for the synthesis of glycoproteins containing the Lewis x antigen. Using glycosyltransferases from Haemophilus influenzae, we engineered Escherichia coli to assemble a tetrasaccharide on the lipid carrier undecaprenylphosphate. This glycan was transferred in vivo from the lipid to a carrier protein by the Campylobacter jejuni oligosaccharyltransferase PglB. The glycoprotein was then fucosylated in vitro by a truncated fucosyltransferase from Helicobacter pylori. Diverse mass spectrometry techniques were used to confirm the structure of the glycan. The strategy presented here could be adapted in the future for the synthesis of diverse glycoproteins. Our experiments demonstrate that bacterial enzymes can be exploited for the production of glycoproteins carrying glycans present in human cells for potential therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37887-37894
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 28 2011
Externally publishedYes

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