Anika Gallinger1, Mailin Doepkens1, Thorsten Biet1, Luc Pellerin2, Thomas Peters1
1Institute of Chemistry,
UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) is an activated sugar, produced via the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). This activated sugar is the key substrate for O-GlcNAcylation, a dynamic posttranslational modification of nuclear and cytosolic proteins. Changes in flux through the HBP either increase or decrease UDP-GlcNAc levels, affecting the O-GlcNAcylation of many proteins. Aberrant O-GlcNAcylation can be associated with human diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimers disease and cancer. Alterations of UDP-GlcNAc levels may provide an indication of the development of metabolic disorders. Therefore, we are currently exploring the potential of UDP-GlcNAc as a NMR detectable metabolic marker in neuronal cells.