Incubation of native rat liver microsomes with GTP resulted in enhanced incorporation of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) from UDP-GlcNAc into lipid acceptors. The stimulation of GlcNAc transfer by GTP was specific for GTP; ATP exerted no effect. The GTP effect was blocked by a non-hydrolysable GTP analogue guanosine 5′-[beta gamma-imido]triphosphate, indicating that GTP hydrolysis was crucial. Though dolichyl pyrophosphate NN′-diacetylchitobiose [Dol-PP-(GlcNAc)2] was the main radiolabelled product formed upon incubation of GTP-treated microsomes with UDP-GlcNAc, GTP selectively stimulated UDP-GlcNAc:dolichyl phosphate (Dol-P) N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-phosphotransferase (N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-phosphotransferase). This conclusion was reached on the basis of experiments in which tunicamycin was used to selectively inhibit N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-phosphotransferase. The enhanced transformation of Dol-P to dolichyl pyrophosphate N-acetylglucosamine (Dol-PP-GlcNAc) by GTP ultimately led to enhanced protein glycosylation. GTP-induced stimulation of GlcNAc incorporation in lipid and protein by GTP was observed also in microsomes fully permeabilized with Staph. aureus alpha-toxin. These findings refute the previous proposal [Godelaine, Beaufay, Wibo and Ravoet (1983) J. Cell Biol. 97, 340-350] that increased membrane permeability constitutes the mechanism whereby GTP activates the reactions of the dolichol pathway.
- © 1993 The Biochemical Society, London