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|Title:||Comparative genomics analysis of completely sequenced microbial genomes reveals the ubiquity of N-linked glycosylation in prokaryotes|
|Publisher:||ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY|
|Abstract:||Glycosylation of proteins in prokaryotes has been known for the last few decades. Glycan structures and/or the glycosylation pathways have been experimentally characterized in only a small number of prokaryotes. Even this has become possible only during the last decade or so, primarily due to technological and methodological developments. Glycosylated proteins are diverse in their function and localization. Glycosylation has been shown to be associated with a wide range of biological phenomena. Characterization of the various types of glycans and the glycosylation machinery is critical to understand such processes. Such studies can help in the identification of novel targets for designing drugs, diagnostics, and engineering of therapeutic proteins. In view of this, the experimentally characterized pgl system of Campylobacter jejuni, responsible for N-linked glycosylation, has been used in this study to identify glycosylation loci in 865 prokaryotes whose genomes have been completely sequenced. Results from the present study show that only a small number of organisms have homologs for all the pgl enzymes and a few others have homologs for none of the pgl enzymes. Most of the organisms have homologs for only a subset of the pgl enzymes. There is no specific pattern for the presence or absence of pgl homologs vis-a-vis the 16S rRNA sequence-based phylogenetic tree. This may be due to differences in the glycan structures, high sequence divergence, horizontal gene transfer or non-orthologous gene displacement. Overall, the presence of homologs for pgl enzymes in a large number of organisms irrespective of their habitat, pathogenicity, energy generation mechanism, etc., hints towards the ubiquity of N-linked glycosylation in prokaryotes.|
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