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J Cell Biol. 1999 May 17;145(4):899-910.

Sulfotransferases of two specificities function in the reconstitution of high endothelial cell ligands for L-selectin.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Program in Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


L-selectin, a lectin-like receptor, mediates rolling of lymphocytes on high endothelial venules (HEVs) in secondary lymphoid organs by interacting with HEV ligands. These ligands consist of a complex of sialomucins, candidates for which are glycosylation- dependent cell adhesion molecule 1 (GlyCAM-1), CD34, and podocalyxin. The ligands must be sialylated, fucosylated, and sulfated for optimal recognition by L-selectin. Our previous structural characterization of GlyCAM-1 has demonstrated two sulfation modifications, Gal-6-sulfate and GlcNAc-6-sulfate in the context of sialyl Lewis x. We now report the cloning of a Gal-6-sulfotransferase and a GlcNAc-6-sulfotransferase, which can modify GlyCAM-1 and CD34. The Gal-6-sulfotransferase shows a wide tissue distribution. In contrast, the GlcNAc-6-sulfotransferase is highly restricted to HEVs, as revealed by Northern analysis and in situ hybridization. Expression of either enzyme in Chinese hamster ovary cells, along with CD34 and fucosyltransferase VII, results in ligand activity, as detected by binding of an L-selectin/IgM chimera. When coexpressed, the two sulfotransferases synergize to produce strongly enhanced chimera binding.

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