The development of a molecular toolbox to examine the role of protein O-mannosylation in actinobacteria
thesisposted on 2021-05-22, 16:41 authored by Nakita Buenbrazo
Protein glycosylation is the most abundant and diverse protein modification that occurs in all domains of life. It is defined as the covalent attachment of a carbohydrate moiety to a specific amino acid on a target protein. The functional role of this attachment is implicated in and spans various cell processes from cell signaling, cell defense, and pathogenesis – to name a few. A specific type of protein glycosylation, called protein O-mannosylation (POM) is a process found to be conserved from bacteria to man. In humans, POM is required for healthy cell function, and the absence of POM can cause fatal diseases. Certain prokaryotic species possess a related POM system, but it is poorly understood. It is our hypothesis that the analysis of the POM system in simpler organisms can aid in the characterization of this process and the functional role of the mannosylated proteins that are produced. However, the protocols to prove this theory do not yet exist. This thesis establishes a collection of developed protocols that can be used to characterize the POM systems from gram-positive species Corynebacterium glutamicum and Cellulomonas fimi. In addition the first ever evidence of a C. fimi glycoprotein being glycosylated by the endogenous C. glutamicum POM system is provided.