Skip to Content

Efficient production and characterization of soluble active human β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase II in bacteria

In humans, almost all the cell surface and secreted glycoproteins are modified with complex-type N-glycans. Thus, it is essential to obtain complex-type N-glycans to fully understand the biological properties of glycoproteins. Here, human β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase II (hGnT-II), a Golgi-localized enzyme integral to complex-type N-glycan biosynthesis, was cloned as a truncated transmembrane form (GnT-II-ΔTM) and heterologously overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Our results showed that hGnT-II could be overexpressed in its soluble form by fusing the truncated enzyme with a thioredoxin (Trx)-tag in the Rosetta-Gami 2 strain. Using the optimized induction conditions, the expression level of recombinant protein was enhanced to yield approximately 4 mg per liter culture after affinity purification. The enzyme exhibited appropriate glycosyltransferase activity, and the calculated Km value was 52.4 μM, similar to the protein expressed in mammalian cells. Furthermore, the effect of MGAT2-CDG mutations on enzyme activity was also measured. These results suggested that the E. coli expression system was capable of the large-scale production of bioactive hGnT-II, which can be used for functional study and effective synthesis of complex-type N-glycans.