Prespore-specific antigen (PsA) is a putative cell-adhesion molecule of the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum, which has a similar molecular architecture to several mammalian cell-surface proteins. It has an N-terminal globular domain presented to the extracellular environment on an O-glycosylated stem (glycopeptide) that is attached to the cell membrane through a glycosyl-PtdIns anchor. The sequence of PsA suggests that PsA may belong to a new family of cell-surface molecules and here we present information on the structure of the N-terminal globular domain and determine the reducing-terminal linkage of the O-glycosylation. To obtain a sufficient amount of pure protein, a secreted recombinant form of PsA (rPsA), was expressed in D. discoideum and characterised. 1H-NMR spectra of rPsA contained features consistent with a high degree of β-sheet in the N-terminal globular domain, a feature commonly observed in cell-adhesion proteins. Solid-phase Edman degradation of the glycopeptide of rPsA indicated that 14 of the 15 threonines and serines in the spacer region were glycosylated. The chemical structures of the O-glycosylations were determined to be single N-acetylglucosamine residues.
- cell-surface glycoproteins
- dictyostelium discoideum