Phosphorylation of Asn-linked oligosaccharides located at novel sites on the lysosomal enzyme cathepsin D

A. B. Cantor, S. Kornfeld

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31 Scopus citations


We have examined the phosphorylation of Asn-linked oligosaccharides introduced at seven novel sites on human cathepsin D to determine whether the location of an oligosaccharide on a lysosomal enzyme affects its ability to serve as a substrate for UDP-GlcNAc:lysosomal enzyme N-acetylglucosamine-1- phosphotransferase (phosphotransferase), the enzyme that catalyzes the initial step in the biosynthesis of mannose 6-phosphate residues. The glycosylation sites were introduced into the cathepsin D cDNA by site- directed mutagenesis and were selected to be widely distributed over the surface of the molecule. When the constructs were expressed in Xenopus oocytes, the oligosaccharides at each glycosylation site were phosphorylated at levels considerably above background (19-70% phosphorylation versus <0.4% for the secretory protein glycopepsinogen). However, oligosaccharides located closer to the essential components of the phosphotransferase recognition domain (lysine 203 and amino acids 265-292) were phosphorylated better than oligosaccharides located further away. Similar results were obtained for oligosaccharides at homologous sites on a pepsinogen/cathepsin D chimera containing only lysine 203 and residues 265-319 of cathepsin D, although the absolute levels of phosphorylation were lower. These results demonstrate that there is considerable flexibility in the placement of glycosylation sites on cathepsin D in terms of the ability of the oligosaccharides to serve as substrates for phosphotransferase, although oligosaccharides located closer to the phosphotransferase recognition determinant are preferentially phosphorylated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23357-23363
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - 1992


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