Role of flippases in protein glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum

Jeffrey S. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Glycosylation is essential to the synthesis, folding, and function of glycoproteins in eukaryotes. Proteins are co- and posttranslationally modified by a variety of glycans in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); modifications include C- and O-mannosylation, N-glycosylation, and the addition of glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchors. Protein glycosylation in the ER of eukaryotes involves enzymatic steps on both the cytosolic and lumenal surfaces of the ER membrane. The glycans are first assembled as precursor glycolipids, on the cytosolic surface of the ER, which are tethered to the mem-brane by attachment to a long-chain polyisoprenyl phosphate (dolichol) containing a reduced a-isoprene. The lipid-anchored building blocks then migrate transversely (flip) across the ER membrane to the lumenal surface, where final assembly of the glycan is completed. This strategy allows the cell to export high-energy biosynthetic intermediates as lipid-bound glycans, while constraining the glycosyl donors to the site of assembly on the membrane surface. This review focuses on the flippases that participate in protein glycosylation in the ER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalLipid Insights
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The authors.


  • Congenital disorder of glycosylation
  • Dolichol
  • Flippase
  • Glycosylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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