A Single Point Mutation Reverses the Donor Specificity of Human Blood Group B-synthesizing Galactosyltransferase

Sandra L. Marcus, Robert Polakowski, Nina O. L. Seto, Eeva Leinala, Svetlana Borisova, Antoine Blancher, Francis Roubinet, Stephen V. Evans, Monica M. Palcic
2003 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Blood group A and B antigens are carbohydrate structures that are synthesized by glycosyltransferase enzymes. The final step in B antigen synthesis is carried out by an ␣1-3 galactosyltransferase (GTB) that transfers galactose from UDP-Gal to type 1 or type 2, ␣Fuc132␤Gal-R (H)-terminating acceptors. Similarly the A antigen is produced by an ␣1-3 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase that transfers N-acetylgalactosamine from UDP-GalNAc to H-acceptors. Human ␣1-3 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase
more » ... GTB are highly homologous enzymes differing in only four of 354 amino acids (R176G, G235S, L266M, and G268A). Single crystal x-ray diffraction studies have shown that the latter two of these amino acids are responsible for the difference in donor specificity, while the other residues have roles in acceptor binding and turnover. Recently a novel cis-AB allele was discovered that produced A and B cell surface structures. It had codons corresponding to GTB with a single point mutation that replaced the conserved amino acid proline 234 with serine. Active enzyme expressed from a synthetic gene corresponding to GTB with a P234S mutation shows a dramatic and complete reversal of donor specificity. Although this enzyme contains all four "critical" amino acids associated with the production of blood group B antigen, it preferentially utilizes the blood group A donor UDP-GalNAc and shows only marginal transfer of UDP-Gal. The crystal structure of the mutant reveals the basis for the shift in donor specificity.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m212002200 pmid:12529355 fatcat:r4dc3kx2pvbm7i25qciuvh2sfi