at Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
​​​​the dong research group
20.O-GlcNAcylation modulates liquid–liquid phase separation of SynGAP/PSD-95
Nat. Chem. (2022)
Pinou Lv, Yifei Du, Changdong He, Luxin Peng, Xinyue Zhou, Yi Wan, Menglong Zeng, Wen Zhou, Peng Zou, Chenjian Li, Mingjie Zhang, Suwei Dong and Xing Chen*

Liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) of SynGAP and PSD-95, two abundant proteins that interact in the postsynaptic density (PSD) of neurons, has been implicated in modulating SynGAP PSD enrichment in excitatory synapses. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain enigmatic. Here we report that O-GlcNAcylation of SynGAP acts as a suppressor of LLPS of the SynGAP/PSD-95 complex. We identified multiple O-GlcNAc modification sites for the endogenous SynGAP isolated from rat brain and the recombinantly expressed protein. Protein semisynthesis was used to generate site-specifically O-GlcNAcylated forms of SynGAP, and in vitro and cell-based LLPS assays demonstrated that T1306 O-GlcNAc of SynGAP blocks the interaction with PSD-95, thus inhibiting LLPS. Furthermore, O-GlcNAcylation suppresses SynGAP/PSD-95 LLPS in a dominant-negative manner, enabling sub-stoichiometric O-GlcNAcylation to exert effective regulation. We also showed that O-GlcNAc-dependent LLPS is reversibly regulated by O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA). These findings demonstrate that OGT- and OGA-catalysed O-GlcNAc cycling may serve as an LLPS-regulating post-translational modification.