The GDP-fucose:N-acetylglucosaminide 3-alpha-L-fucosyltransferases of LEC11 and LEC12 Chinese hamster ovary mutants exhibit novel specificities for glycolipid substrates.

D. R. Howard, M. Fukuda, M. N. Fukuda, P. Stanley

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Previous studies have shown that the GDP-fucose:N-acetylglucosaminide 3-alpha-L-fucosyltransferase (alpha (1,3) fucosyltransferase (Fuc-T)) activities expressed by the Chinese hamster ovary cell mutants LEC11 (Fuc-TI) and LEC12 (Fuc-TII) are different enzymes and indicated that Fuc-TI might act on sialylated lactosamine sequences (Campbell, C., and Stanley, P. (1984) J. Biol. Chem. 259, 11208-11214). In this paper we show that CSLEX-1, a monoclonal antibody specific for NeuNac alpha (2,3)Gal beta (1,4)(Fuc alpha (1,3))GlcNAc beta 1 sequences, bound to LEC11 cells but not to LEC12 cells. Direct evidence that Fuc-TI could act on sialylated substrates was sought with a series of glycolipid acceptors. Optimal assay conditions in crude cell extracts were determined with nLc4, a glycolipid which accepted fucose with both Fuc-TI and Fuc-TII to generate the Lex antigenic determinant. The two enzymes differed in their detergent sensitivities, pH optima, Mn2+ requirements, and apparent Km values for nLc4. When sialylated glycolipids were examined as substrates, Fuc-TI added fucose to IV3NeuNAcnLc4 but not to IV6NeuNAcnLc4, whereas Fuc-TII was unable to utilize either glycolipid as a substrate. Further studies showed that Fuc-TI and Fuc-TII possess novel specificities for glycolipids containing two lactosamine sequences as potential fucose acceptors. Fuc-TI exhibited good activities with VI3NeuNAcnLc6 and VI6NeuNAcnLc6 whereas Fuc-TII had very low activity with both substrates. Glycosidase digestions of the labeled products showed that Fuc-TI added fucose primarily to the internal N-acetylglucosamine of both glycolipids. The same preference for the internal N-acetylglucosamine was shown by Fuc-TI when nLc6 was the acceptor. In contrast, Fuc-TII preferred to transfer fucose to the external acceptor site of nLc6, consistent with the low activities of Fuc-TII with sialylated nLc6 derivatives. Thus the two enzymes preferentially add fucose to different N-acetylglucosamines in the same substrate, nLc6. This indicates that the biosynthetic pathway for fucosylation of polylactosamine sequences in glycolipids and glycoproteins will vary depending upon the particular alpha (1,3)fucosyltransferase present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16830-16837
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 15 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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