BMB Reports 2018; 51(12): 609-610
Structural insights showing how arginine is able to be glycosylated by pathogenic effector proteins
Jun Bae Park, Youngki Yoo and Hyun-Soo Cho*
Department of Systems Biology and College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Correspondence to: *Corresponding author. E-mail:
Received: November 7, 2018; Published online: December 31, 2018.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

cc This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Glycosylation is one form of protein modification and plays a key role in protein stability, function, signaling regulation and even cancer. NleB and SseK are bacterial effector proteins and possess glycosyltransferase activity, even though they have different substrate preferences. NleB/SseKs transfer the GlcNAc sugar to an arginine residue of host proteins, leading to reduced NF-κB-dependent responses. By combining X-ray crystallography, NMR, molecular dynamics, enzyme kinetic assays and in vivo experiments, we demonstrated that a conserved HEN (His-Glu-Asn) motif in the active site plays a key role in enzyme catalysis and virulence. The lid-domain regulates the opening and closing of the active site and the HLH domain determines the substrate specificity. Our findings provide evidence for the enzymatic mechanism by which arginine can be glycosylated by SseK/NleB enzymes.
Keywords: Arginine glycosylation, Effector protein, Glycosyltransferase, NleB, SseK

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