Sex Comb on Midleg (SCM) is a transcriptional repressor in the Polycomb group (PcG), but its molecular role in PcG silencing is not known. Although SCM can interact with Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) in vitro, biochemical studies have indicated that SCM is not a core constituent of PRC1 or PRC2. Nevertheless, SCM is just as critical for Drosophila Hox gene silencing as canonical subunits of these well-characterized PcG complexes. To address functional relationships between SCM and other PcG components, we have performed chromatin immunoprecipitation studies using cultured Drosophila Schneider line 2 (S2) cells and larval imaginal discs. We find that SCM associates with a Polycomb response element (PRE) upstream of the Ubx gene which also binds PRC1, PRC2, and the DNA-binding PcG protein Pleiohomeotic (PHO). However, SCM is retained at this Ubx PRE despite genetic disruption or knockdown of PHO, PRC1, or PRC2, suggesting that SCM chromatin targeting does not require prior association of these other PcG components. Chromatin immunoprecipitations (IPs) to test the consequences of SCM genetic disruption or knockdown revealed that PHO association is unaffected, but reduced levels of PRE-bound PRC2 and PRC1 were observed. We discuss these results in light of current models for recruitment of PcG complexes to chromatin targets.
Many plant proteins are modified with N-linked oligosaccharides at asparagine-X-serine/threonine sites during transit through the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi. We have identified a number of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) proteins with modifications consisting of an N-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine monosaccharide (N-GlcNAc). Electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry analysis of peptides bearing this modification mapped the modification to asparagine-X-serine/threonine sites on proteins that are predicted to transit through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi. A mass labeling method was developed and used to study N-GlcNAc modification of two thioglucoside glucohydrolases (myrosinases), TGG1 and TGG2 (for thioglucoside glucohydrolase). These myrosinases are also modified with high-mannose (Man)-type glycans. We found that N-GlcNAc and high-Man-type glycans can occur at the same site. It has been hypothesized that N-GlcNAc modifications are generated when endo-?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (ENGase) cleaves N-linked glycans. We examined the effects of mutations affecting the two known Arabidopsis ENGases on N-GlcNAc modification of myrosinase and found that modification of TGG2 was greatly reduced in one of the single mutants and absent in the double mutant. Surprisingly, N-GlcNAc modification of TGG1 was not affected in any of the mutants. These data support the hypothesis that ENGases hydrolyze high-Man glycans to produce some of the N-GlcNAc modifications but also suggest that some N-GlcNAc modifications are generated by another mechanism. Since N-GlcNAc modification was detected at only one site on each myrosinase, the production of the N-GlcNAc modification may be regulated.
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