N-glycosylation in sugarcane

Ivan G. Maia Adilson Leite About the authors

The N-linked glycosylation of secretory and membrane proteins is the most complex posttranslational modification known to occur in eukaryotic cells. It has been shown to play critical roles in modulating protein function. Although this important biological process has been extensively studied in mammals, much less is known about this biosynthetic pathway in plants. The enzymes involved in plant N-glycan biosynthesis and processing are still not well defined and the mechanism of their genetic regulation is almost completely unknown. In this paper we describe our first attempt to understand the N-linked glycosylation mechanism in a plant species by using the data generated by the Sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tag (SUCEST) project. The SUCEST database was mined for sugarcane gene products potentially involved in the N-glycosylation pathway. This approach has led to the identification and functional assignment of 90 expressed sequence tag (EST) clusters sharing significant sequence similarity with the enzymes involved in N-glycan biosynthesis and processing. The ESTs identified were also analyzed to establish their relative abundance.

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