Proper neuronal development is essential to growth and adult brain function. Alterations at any step of this highly organized sequence of events, due to genetic mutations or environmental factors, triggers brain malformations, which are leading causes of diseases including epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, and many others. The role of glycosylation in neuronal development has been emphasized for many years, notably in studying human congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs). These diseases highlight that genetic defects in glycosylation pathways are almost always associated with severe neurological abnormalities, suggesting that glycosylation plays an essential role in early brain development. Congenital disorders of O-GlcNAcylation are no exception, and all mutations of the O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) are associated with X-linked intellectual disabilities (XLID). In addition, mouse models and in vitro mechanistic studies have reinforced the essential role of O-GlcNAcylation in neuronal development and signaling. In this review, we give an overview of the role of O-GlcNAcylation in this critical physiological process and emphasize the consequences of its dysregulation.

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