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asparagine-linked carbohydrates

Tuesday 27 January 2004

- The majority of proteins that traverse the secretory pathway receive asparagine (Asn)-linked glycosylations.

- Glycans are bulky hydrophilic modifications that serve a variety of structural and functional roles within the cell.

- The role of Asn-linked glycans is proteic maturation and quality-control protein tags in the early secretory pathway.

- The carbohydrate composition encodes crucial information about the structure, localization and age of glycoproteins.

- The "glycan code" is encoded by a series of glycosidases and carbohydrate transferases that line the secretory pathway.

- This code is deciphered by carbohydrate-binding proteins that possess distinct carbohydrate binding properties and act as molecular chaperones or sorting receptors.

- These glycosidases and transferases work in concert with resident secretory pathway carbohydrate-binding proteins to form a network that assists in the maturation and trafficking of both native and aberrant glycoproteins within the cell.


- Hebert DN, Garman SC, Molinari M. The glycan code of the endoplasmic reticulum: asparagine-linked carbohydrates as protein maturation and quality-control tags. Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Jul;15(7):364-70. PMID: 15939591