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Semin Cell Biol. 1991 Oct;2(5):289-307.

Molecular cloning, expression, and uses of mammalian glycosyltransferases.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ann Arbor, MI.


Lineage specific expression patterns of mammalian oligosaccharides are regulated largely by glycosyltransferases. Several distinct glycosyltransferase genes have recently been isolated by gene transfer and traditional cloning approaches. These each maintain a type II transmembrane topology, that yields a COOH-terminal, Golgi-resident catalytic domain. However, significant primary sequence similarities between cloned glycosyltransferases have been found only between enzymes with substantial functional similarity. These cloned DNA segments, and their cognate enzymes, have been used to determine glycosyltransferase expression patterns, characterize the molecular basis for mutant glycosyltransferase alleles, and identify oligosaccharide ligands for members of the Selectin family of cell adhesion molecules. They have also shown promise for use in the preparative synthesis of defined oligosaccharide molecules, and for transgenic animal approaches designed to explore the function(s) of oligosaccharides in mammalian organisms.

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