Engineering of mucin-type human glycoproteins in yeast cells

Koh Amano, Yasunori Chiba, Yoshiko Kasahara, Yukinari Kato, Kato Kaneko Mika, Atsushi Kuno, Hiromi Ito, Kazuo Kobayashi, Jun Hirabayashi, Yoshifumi Jigami, Hisashi Narimatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Mucin-type O-glycans are the most typical O-glycans found in mammalian cells and assume many different biological roles. Here, we report a genetic engineered yeast strain capable of producing mucin-type sugar chains. Genes encoding Bacillus subtilis UDP-Gal/GalNAc 4-epimerase, human UDP-Gal/GalNAc transporter, human ppGalNAc-T1, and Drosophila melanogaster core1 βGalT were introduced into Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The engineered yeast was able to produce a MUC1a peptide containing O-glycan and also a mucin-like glycoprotein, human podoplanin (hPod; also known as aggrus), which is a platelet-aggregating factor that requires a sialyl-core1 structure for activity. After in vitro sialylation, hPod from yeast could induce platelet aggregation. Interestingly, substitution of ppGal-NAc-T1 for ppGalNAc-T3 caused a loss of platelet aggregation-inducing activity, despite the fact that the sialyl-core1 was detectable in both hPod proteins on a lectin microarray. Most of O-mannosylation, a common modification in yeast, to MUC1a was suppressed by the addition of a rhodanine-3-acetic acid derivative in the culture medium. The yeast system we describe here is able to produce glycoproteins modified at different glycosylation sites and has the potential for use in basic research and pharmaceutical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3232-3237
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 4


  • Glycosylation engineering
  • Mucin-type glycan
  • Podoplanin


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