Table_3_RNAi-Mediated Silencing of Pgants Shows Core 1 O-Glycans Are Required for Pupation in Tribolium castaneum.docx
Protein glycosylation is one of the most common and most important post-translational modifications. Despite the growing knowledge on N-glycosylation, the research on O-glycosylation is lagging behind. This study investigates the importance of O-glycosylation in the post-embryonic development of insects using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, as a model. We identified 28 O-glycosylation-related genes (OGRGs) in the genome of the red flour beetle. 14 OGRGs were selected for functional analysis based on their involvement in the initial attachment of the carbohydrate in the different O-glycosylation pathways or the further elongation of the most abundant O-glycans and, in addition, showing severe RNAi-induced phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. The expression profile of these OGRGs was mapped throughout the developmental stages of the insect and in the different tissues of the pupa and adult. Subsequently, these genes were silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) to analyze their role in development. A broad spectrum of phenotypes was observed: from subtle effects and disrupted wing formation when silencing the genes involved in O-mannosylation, to blockage of pupation and high mortality after silencing of the genes involved in O-GalNAc and core 1 O-glycan (O-GalNAc-Gal) synthesis. RNAi experiments were also performed to assess the effects of blocking multiple pathways of O-glycosylation. However, the observed phenotypes induced by multiple RNAi were similar to those of the single gene RNAi experiments. The silencing of OGRGs often resulted in high mortality and wing phenotypes, indicating the importance of O-glycosylation for the survival of the insect and the formation of wings during the post-embryonic development of T. castaneum.