Database analyses identified 4933434I20Rik as a glycosyltransferase-like gene expressed mainly in testicular germ cells and regulated during spermatogenesis. Expression of a membrane-bound form of the protein resulted in a marked and specific reduction in N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (GlcNAcT-I) activity and complex and hybrid N-glycan synthesis. Thus, the novel activity was termed GlcNAcT-I inhibitory protein (GnT1IP). Membrane-bound GnT1IP localizes to the ER, the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC), and the cis-Golgi. Coexpression of membrane-anchored GnT1IP with GlcNAcT-I causes association of the two proteins, inactivation of GlcNAcT-I, and mislocalization of GlcNAcT-I from the medial-Golgi to earlier compartments. Therefore, GnT1IP is a regulator of GlcNAcT-I and complex and hybrid N-glycan production. Importantly, the formation of high mannose N-glycans resulting from inhibition of GlcNAcT-I by GnT1IP markedly increases the adhesion of CHO cells to TM4 Sertoli cells. Testicular germ cells might use GnT1IP to induce the expression of high mannose N-glycans on glycoproteins, thereby facilitating Sertoli-germ cell attachment at a particular stage of spermatogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology