Newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes were found to contain N-acetylglucosamine residues in phosphodiester linkage to the 6 position of the mannose residues on high-mannose type oligosaccharides. The formation of these structures was shown to be catalyzed by a specific N-acetylglucosaminylphosphotransferase enzyme, that utilises UDP-N-acetylglucosamine as a donor. The phosphorylation reaction can take place on any of four or five positions on the high-mannose oligosaccharide. Subsequently an α-N-acetylglucosaminylphosphodiesterase removes the outer blocking N-acetylglucosamine residues to generate the mature phosphomannsoyl recognition signal. This signal is responsible for the targetting of newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes to lysosomes. The human syndromes of I-cell disease (Mucolipidosis II) and pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy (Mucolipidosis III) were shown to be caused by deficiency of the first enzyme in the pathway, the UDP-N-acetylglucosamine: Glycoprotein N-acetylglucosaminylphosphotransferase.
- I-cell disease
- Lysosomal enzymes
- phosphorylated oligosaccharides