Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium

Using Chemical Biology to Understand and Apply Protein O-Glycosylation

Prof. Dr. Zhongping Tan

University of Colorado Boulder



Hörsaal Robert Koch

Protein O-glycosylation is one of the most important co- and/or posttranslational modifications. Based on previous studies, it is believed that O-glycosylation may significantly enhance the functional diversity of proteins, mainly through changing their folding, conformation, stability, solubility, binding affinity, substrate specificity, and biological activity. However, due to the intrinsic complexity of glycoproteins, quantitative knowledge about the effects of protein O-glycosylation is largely lacking.

Recently, we demonstrated that chemical biology can be employed as a useful tool to quantitatively analyze the effects of protein O-glycosylation and to define the molecular determinants of these effects. Our findings highlight the collective importance of the amino acid environment and glycan size, type, and linkage, all considered together, in the
controlling the effects of protein O-glycosylation. Going forward, our results suggest the possibility of designing  proteins with multiple improved properties by simultaneously varying the structures of glycans and amino acids local to the glycosylation site.