N-linked glycosylation is required for nicotinic receptor assembly but not for subunit associations with calnexin. Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated how asparagine (N)-linked glycosylation affects assembly of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Block of N-linked glycosylation inhibited AChR assembly whereas block of glucose trimming partially blocked assembly at the late stages. Removal of each of seven glycans had a distinct effect on AChR assembly, ranging from no effect to total loss of assembly. Because the chaperone calnexin (CN) associates with N-linked glycans, we examined CN interactions with AChR subunits. CN rapidly associates with 50% or more of newly synthesized AChR subunits, but not with subunits after maturation. Block of N-linked glycosylation or trimming did not alter CN-AChR subunit associations nor did subunit mutations prevent N-linked glycosylation. Additionally, CN associations with subunits lacking N-linked glycans occurred without subunit aggregation or misfolding. Our data indicate that CN associates with AChR subunits without N-linked glycan interactions. Furthermore, CN-subunit associations only occur early in AChR assembly and have no role in events later that require N-linked glycosylation.

publication date

  • October 7, 2005