O-GIcNAcase Catalyzes Cleavage of Thioglycosides without General Acid Catalysis

M.S. Macauley, Keith Stubbs, D.J. Vocadlo

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58 Citations (Scopus)


O-GlcNAcase catalyzes the removal of N-acetylglucosamine residues from serine and threonine residues of post-translationally modified proteins using a catalytic mechanism involving substrate-assisted catalysis and general acid/base catalysis. Since thioglycosides are widely perceived as resistant to hydrolysis by glycosidases, it was surprising to find that O-GlcNAcase also catalyzes the efficient hydrolysis of S-glycosides. Brønsted analyses and pH-activity studies of the O-GlcNAcase-catalyzed hydrolysis of a series of aryl S- and O-glycosides reveal that O-GlcNAcase effects hydrolysis of thioglycosides without the assistance of general acid catalysis. α-Deuterium kinetic isotope effects for O- and S-glycosides, as well as Taft-like analyses using N-fluoroacetyl-β-glycosides, suggest that O-GlcNAcase accomplishes hydrolysis of thioglycosides by stabilizing late transition states. For S-glycosides this transition state shows greater nucleophilic participation from the 2-acetamido group than for O-glycosides. The rate constants governing the O-GlcNAcase-catalyzed hydrolysis of O- and S-glycosides as compared to those previously determined for the spontaneous hydrolysis of structurally similar O,O- and O,S-acetals show a similar ratio. O-GlcNAcase therefore demonstrates similar catalytic proficiency toward both O- and S-glycosides. We conclude that O-GlcNAcase is a bifunctional catalyst capable of efficiently cleaving thioglycosides without general acid catalysis, an observation that may have biological implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17202-17203
JournalJournal of American Chemical Society
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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