Identification of endoplasmic reticulum proteins involved in glycan assembly: synthesis and characterization of P3-(4-azidoanilido)uridine 5'-triphosphate, a membrane-topological photoaffinity probe for uridine diphosphate-sugar binding proteins.
Sensitivity and Specificity
Uridine Diphosphate Sugars
Much of the enzymic machinery required for the assembly of cell surface carbohydrates is located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells. Structural information on these proteins is limited and the identity of the active polypeptide(s) is generally unknown. This paper describes the synthesis and characteristics of a photoaffinity reagent that can be used to identify and analyse members of the ER glycan assembly apparatus, specifically those glycosyltransferases, nucleotide phosphatases and nucleotide-sugar transporters that recognize uridine nucleotides or UDP-sugars. The photoaffinity reagent, P3-(4-azidoanilido)uridine 5'-triphosphate (AAUTP), was synthesized easily from commercially available precursors. AAUTP inhibited the activity of ER glycosyltransferases that utilize UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-Glc, indicating that it is recognized by UDP-sugar-binding proteins. In preliminary tests AAUTP[alpha-32P] labelled bovine milk galactosyltransferase, a model UDP-sugar-utilizing enzyme, in a UV-light-dependent, competitive and saturable manner. When incubated with rat liver ER vesicles, AAUTP[alpha-32P] labelled a discrete subset of ER proteins; labelling was light-dependent and metal ion-specific. Photolabelling of intact ER vesicles with AAUTP[alpha-32P] caused selective incorporation of radioactivity into proteins with cytoplasmically disposed binding sites; UDP-Glc:glycoprotein glucosyltransferase, a lumenal protein, was labelled only when the vesicle membrane was disrupted. These data indicate that AAUTP is a membrane topological probe of catalytic sites in target proteins. Strategies for using AAUTP to identify and study novel ER proteins involved in glycan assembly are discussed.