Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Alba Hykollari is the leader of the project "Phosphorylated N-glycan epitopes in simple organisms".
The processing and sorting of lysosomal hydrolases occur in eukaryotic organisms in the Golgi apparatus prior to trafficking to their destination compartments. In mammals, the lysosomal proteins have a common glyco-epitope (mannose-6-phosphate), which is recognized by Golgi receptors that direct the enzymes to the lysosomes. This sorting mechanism is conserved in vertebrates, whereas in invertebrates or simple eukaryotes this pathway is not well understood. Recently, detailed analysis of the N-glycomes of simple amoebozoa, such as the non-pathogenic slime mould Dictyostelium and the facultative parasite Acanthamoeba, confirmed the presence of phosphorylated N-glycan epitopes. The biosynthesis and function of these epitopes in both organisms remain unclear.