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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification and characterization of peptide: N- glycanase from Dictyostelium discoideum

Anuradha Gosain12, Rakhee Lohia13, Anju Shrivastava2 and Shweta Saran1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110 067, India

2 Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110 007, India

3 Department of Genetics, University of Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi 110 021, India

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BMC Biochemistry 2012, 13:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-13-9

Published: 8 June 2012



Peptide: N- glycanase (PNGase) enzyme cleaves oligosaccharides from the misfolded glycoproteins and prepares them for degradation. This enzyme plays a role in the endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) pathway in yeast and mice but its biological importance and role in multicellular development remain largely unknown.


In this study, the PNGase from the cellular slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum (DdPNGase) was identified based on the presence of a common TG (transglutaminase) core domain and its sequence homology with the known PNGases. The domain architecture and the sequence comparison validated the presence of probable functional domains in DdPNGase. The tertiary structure matched with the mouse PNGase. Here we show that DdPNGase is an essential protein, required for aggregation during multicellular development and a knockout strain of it results in small sized aggregates, all of which did not form fruiting bodies. The in situ hybridization and RT-PCR results show higher level of expression during the aggregate stage. The expression gets restricted to the prestalk region during later developmental stages. DdPNGase is a functional peptide:N-glycanase enzyme possessing deglycosylation activity, but does not possess any significant transamidation activity.


We have identified and characterized a novel PNGase from D. discoideum and confirmed its deglycosylation activity. The results emphasize the importance of PNGase in aggregation during multicellular development of this organism.