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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Jul 26;1475(3):231-7.

Terminal glycosylation of bovine uroplakin III, one of the major integral-membrane glycoproteins of mammalian bladder.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, Italy.


Uroplakin III (UPIII) is one of the major transmembrane glycoproteins exposed at the luminal face of mammalian bladder. We investigated the terminal glycosylation of bovine UPIII in order to ascertain whether it contains the alpha 2,3-sialylated sequence thus potentially serving as a receptor for uropathogenic Escherichia coli expressing type S adhesins. We report the occurrence of sialic acid in alpha 2,3- and alpha 2,6-linkage to galactose in bovine UPIII glycans as evidenced by the sensitivity of UPIII to both Vibrio cholera and Newcastle disease virus neuraminidase and by the colocalization of UPIII antigen and material detected by lectins of Sambucus nigra and Maackia amurensis on the luminal face of the bladder. We also present evidence that UPIII glycans are capped by Gal-alpha 1,3-Gal epitope. Consistently, alpha 2,3- and alpha 2, 6-sialyltransferase, as well as alpha 1,3-galactosyltransferase were found to be present in the cells detached from the luminal side of bovine bladder, which are responsible for the UPIII biosynthesis. The putative role of UPIII sialylated glycans in enhancing the uropathogenicity of E. coli expressing type S adhesins is discussed.

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