Glycosyltransferase mutants: Key to new insights in glycobiology

Pamela Stanley, E. Ioffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Glycosyltransferases (Glyc-T's) catalyze the synthesis of the carbohydrate portions of glycoproteins, glycolipids, and proteoglycans. Most Glyc-T's transfer one sugar in one linkage and are encoded by a unique gene. Thus, synthesis of a branched carbohydrate may require expression of at least 30 Glyc-T genes. Mutations that alter Glyc-T activity therefore provide an approach to identifying functions for carbohydrates. These fall into two general categories: 1) intramolecular functions pertaining to the physical and biochemical properties of a glycoconjugate; and 2)intermolecular functions that involve recognition of sugar (or sugars) by another molecule, such as the selectins that bind to specific sugar sequences at the cell surface. In this review, the origin, nature, and uses of Glyc-T mutants that have been used to study both types of carbohydrate function will be summarized. Many Glyc-T genes are now cloned, so transgenic and gene disruption techniques are the latest strategies for identifying new functions for carbohydrates. It is already apparent that the consequences of altering the spectrum of carbohydrates expressed by a cell or an organism range front 'none' to 'death.' A key challenge for the future is to identify molecular bases for the complex phenotypes created by glycosylation engineering. Equally important will be to understand factors that regulate Glyc-T genes, a new class of genes whose study may reveal novel mechanisms of biological regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1436-1444
Number of pages9
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume9
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1995

Fingerprint

Glycomics
Glycosyltransferases
glycosyltransferases
Genes
Carbohydrates
carbohydrates
Sugars
mutants
sugars
genes
Glycosylation
Selectins
glycoconjugates
Glycoconjugates
synthesis
proteoglycans
glycolipids
Glycolipids
gene targeting
Proteoglycans

Keywords

  • carbohydrate function
  • cell surface
  • glycosylation
  • mammalian mutants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Glycosyltransferase mutants : Key to new insights in glycobiology. / Stanley, Pamela; Ioffe, E.

In: FASEB Journal, Vol. 9, No. 14, 1995, p. 1436-1444.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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