Understanding the Role O-GlcNAc in Protein Stability
The glycosylation of proteins with O-GlcNAc is a ubiquitous post-translational modification found throughout the metazoans. Deregulation of O-GlcNAcylation is implicated in several human diseases including type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
However, the basic biochemical roles of O-GlcNAcylation remain largely unanswered. Several recent studies have demonstrated a clear link between O-GlcNAc and cellular thermotolerance.
It is likely that a basic function of the O-GlcNAc modification prevents the unfolding or aggregation of target proteins. Dr. King is investigating its role in protein stability. The results of this research will provide important insights into the basic molecular mechanisms governing O-GlcNAc deregulation in human disease.
Funding for this project came from a Trainee Award partnership with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.