Indexed on: 08 Mar '08Published on: 08 Mar '08Published in: Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry
In this review, I describe the yeast glycans and their biosynthetic pathways, especially in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The biosynthetic pathway of N-glycan in the endoplasmic reticulum is similar to that of mammalian cells, while the pathway in the Golgi is different from that of mammalian cells, but the biosynthetic pathway of O-glycan, mainly composed of O-oligomannoses, appears to be specific to yeast cells. Yeast systems are useful not only to understand the basic mechanisms of glycan synthesis but also to produce therapeutic proteins with human-type glycans. Protein modification by glycosylphosphatidylinositol is one of the major post-translational modifications in which oligosaccharides are involved. The biosynthetic pathway and the physiological function of glycosylphosphatidylinositol in S. cerevisiae are described in relation to lipid microdomains (also called "lipid rafts"), focusing on the latest findings related to lipid remodeling of GPI-anchored proteins.