Studying n-linked glycosylation of receptor tyrosine kinases
Itkonen HM., Mills IG.
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015. Metabolic alterations have been identifi ed as a frequent event in cancer. This is often associated with increased fl ux through glycolysis, and also a secondary pathway to glycolysis, hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). HBP provides substrate for N-linked glycosylation, which occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. N-linked glycosylation supports protein folding and correct sorting of proteins to plasma membrane and secretion. This process generates complex glycoforms, which can be recognized by other proteins and glycosylation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) can also regulate their plasma-membrane retention time. Of special interest for experimental biologists, plants produce proteins, termed lectins, which bind with high specifi city to glyco-conjugates. For the purposes of molecular biology, plant lectins can be conjugated to different moieties, such as agarose beads, which enable precipitation of specifi cally glycosylated proteins. In this chapter, we describe in detail how to perform pull-down experiments with commercially available lectins to identify changes in the glycosylation of RTKs.