Targeted in vivo O-GlcNAc sensors reveal discrete compartment-specific dynamics during signal transduction

Luz D. Carrillo, Joshua A. Froemming, Lara K. Mahal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


β-O-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a post-translational modification involved in a plethora of biological systems ranging from cellular stress to insulin signaling. This modification shares many hallmarks with phosphorylation, including its dynamic cycling onto a host of proteins such as transcription factors, kinases, and phosphatases, and regulation of cellular functions, including cell signaling. Herein, we report the development of an improved genetically based O-GlcNAc FRET sensor and compartmentalized targeted variants for the characterization of the spatiotemporal dynamics of O-GlcNAc. During serum-stimulated signal transduction, rapid increases in O-GlcNAc activity were observed at both the plasma membrane and the nucleus, with a concomitant decrease detected in the cytoplasm. These findings suggest the existence of compartment specific dynamics for O-GlcNAc in response to signal-inducing stimuli, pointing to complex regulation of this modification. In addition, inhibition of the PI3K pathway by wortmannin abolished the O-GlcNAc response, suggesting that the activity observed is modulated downstream of the PI3K pathway. Taken together, our data argues that O-GlcNAc is a rapidly induced component of signaling and that the interplay between O-GlcNAc and kinase signaling may be more akin to the complex relationship between kinase pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6650-6658
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 25 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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