Glycosides of hydroxyproline: Some recent, unusual discoveries

Carol M. Taylor, Chamini V. Karunaratne, Ning Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Glycosides of hydroxyproline (Hyp) in the plant cell wall matrix were discovered by Lamport and co-workers in the 1960s. Since then, much has been learned about these Hyp-rich glycoproteins. The intent of this review was to compare and contrast some less common structural motifs, in nontraditional roles, to uncover themes. Arabinosylation of short-peptide plant hormones is essential for growth, cell differentiation and defense. In a very recent development, prolyl hydroxylase and arabinosyltransferase activity has been shown to have a direct impact on the growth of root hairs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen allergens of mugwort and ragweed contain proline-rich domains that are hydroxylated and glycosylated and play a structural role. In the case of mugwort, this domain also presents a significant immunogenic epitope. Major crops, including tobacco and maize, have been used to express and produce recombinant proteins of mammalian origin. The risks of plant-imposed glycosylation are discussed. In unicellular eukaryotes, Skp1 (a subunit of the E3SCF ubiquitin ligase complex) harbors a key Hyp residue that is modified by a linear pentasaccharide. These modifications may be involved in sensing oxygen levels. A few studies have probed the impact of glycosylation on the structure of Hyp-containing peptides. These have necessarily looked at small, synthetic molecules, since natural peptides and proteins are often isolable in only minuscule amounts and/or are heterogeneous in nature. The characterization of native structural motifs, together with the determination of glycopeptide conformation and properties, holds the key to rationalizing nature's architectural design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-767
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycosylation
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Peptide conformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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