- CELL PRESS
Oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) is a membrane-bound enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of an oligosaccharide to an asparagine residue in glycoproteins. It possesses a binding pocket that recognizes Ser and Thr residues at the +2 position in the N-glycosylation consensus, Asn-X-Ser/Thr. We determined the crystal structures of the C-terminal globular domains of the catalytic subunits of two archaeal OSTs. A comparison with previously determined structures identified a segment with remarkable conformational plasticity, induced by crystal contact effects. We characterized its dynamic properties in solution by N-15 NMR relaxation analyses. Intriguingly, the mobile region contains the +2 Ser/Thr-binding pocket. In agreement, the flexibility restriction forced by an engineered disulfide cross-link abolished the enzymatic activity, and its cleavage fully restored activity. These results suggest the necessity of multiple conformational states in the reaction. The dynamic nature of the Ser/Thr pocket could facilitate the efficient scanning of N-glycosylation sequons along nascent polypeptide chains.
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