O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a posttranslational modification that is increasingly recognized as a signal transduction mechanism. Unlike other glycans, O-GlcNAc is a highly dynamic and reversible process that involves the addition and removal of a single N-acetylglucosamine molecule to Ser/Thr residues of proteins. UDP-GlcNAc -the direct substrate for O-GlcNAc modification -is controlled by the rate of cellular metabolism, and thus O-GlcNAc is dependent on substrate availability. Serving as a feedback mechanism, O-GlcNAc influences the regulation of insulin signaling and glucose transport. Besides nutrient sensing, O-GlcNAc was also implicated in the regulation of various physiological and pathophysiological processes. Due to improvements of mass spectrometry techniques, more than one thousand proteins were detected to carry the O-GlcNAc moiety; many of them are known to participate in the regulation of metabolites, ions, or protein transport across biological membranes. Recent studies also indicated that O-GlcNAc is involved in stress adaptation; overwhelming evidences suggest that O-GlcNAc levels increase upon stress. O-GlcNAc elevation is generally considered to be beneficial during stress, although the exact nature of its protective effect is not understood. In this review, we summarize the current data regarding the oxidative stress-related changes of O-GlcNAc levels and discuss the implications related to membrane trafficking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology