Wacker, M. et al: N-Linked Protein Glycosylation in Campylobacter jejuni and its Functional Transfer into Escherichia coli. Science 298, 1790-1793 (2002)


N-linked protein glycosylation is the most abundant post translation modification of secretory proteins in eukaryotes. A wide range of functions are attributed to glycan structures covalently linked to asparagine residues within the asparagine-X-serine/threonine consensus sequence (Asn-Xaa-Ser/Thr). We found an N-linked glycosylation system in the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni and demonstrate that a functional N-linked glycosylation pathway could be transferred into Escherichia coli. Although the bacterial N-glycan differs structurally from its eukaryotic counterparts, the cloning of a universal N-linked glycosylation cassette in E. coli opens up the possibility of engineering permutations of recombinant glycan structures for research and industrial applications.

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