Glycosylation of proteins plays a major role in a number of processes ranging from protein folding and recognition to diseases such as cancer. Despite its importance there is very little known about the effects of protein glycosylation at the molecular level. This is due to the difficulties associated with isolating homogenous glycoproteins. The following proposal will describe a new approach to the synthesis of homogenous N-linked glycoproteins. The first part of this approach involves evolving a mutant tRNA synthetase to charge a mutant tRNA with the amino acid N-acetyglucosamine-asparagine (GlcNAc-Asn) in order to incorporate it into proteins in vivo. The proposal will then describe the evolution of a glucosaminidase with enhanced transglycosylation properties, to be used to transfer complex carbohydrates to proteins containing the GlcNAc-Asn moiety. Finally, application of the automated one-pot oligosaccharide synthesis to the construction of a complex carbohydrate substrate for the mutant endoglucosaminidase will be described. If successful the combination of the methods outlined above will provide a new strategy for the efficient construction of libraries of homogenous N-linked glycoproteins.
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