What is it about?

Glycoconjugates and glycopolymers are involved in critical and varied biological functions across domains of life. This study uses the unique sequence signatures of proteins to identify 38,000 members of a distinct family of enzymes that initiate these pathways at the cell membrane- the phosphoglycosyl transferases (PGTs). Finding and mapping the relatedness of the PGT enzymes yields insight into pathway function and regulation.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Ultimately, these PGT enzymes could become therapeutic targets, by inhibiting their action and preventing the synthesis of the sugar coating that protects bacterial pathogens.


An unexpected finding of our study was that there were fusion proteins between the two distinct superfamilies that carry out the same chemical reaction. The fusions may be a clue to substrate-driven evolution.

Karen Allen
Boston University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Glycoconjugate pathway connections revealed by sequence similarity network analysis of the monotopic phosphoglycosyl transferases, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2018289118.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page