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J Biol Chem. 1998 Jan 2;273(1):58-65.

Genomic cloning and expression of three murine UDP-galactose: beta-N-acetylglucosamine beta1,3-galactosyltransferase genes.

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  • 1Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


Based on the detection of expressed sequence tags that are similar to known galactosyltransferase sequences, we have isolated three novel UDP-galactose:beta-N-acetylglucosamine beta1, 3-galactosyltransferase (beta3GalT) genes from a mouse genomic library. The three genes, named beta3GalT-I, -II, and -III, encode type II transmembrane proteins of 326, 422, and 331 amino acids, respectively. The three proteins constitute a distinct subfamily as they do not share any sequence identity with other eucaryotic galactosyltransferases. Also, the entire protein-coding region of the three beta3GalT genes was contained in a single exon, which contrasts with the genomic organization of the beta1,4- and alpha1, 3-galactosyltransferase genes. The three beta3GalT genes were mainly expressed in brain tissue. The expression of the full-length murine genes as recombinant baculoviruses in insect cells revealed that the beta3GalT enzymes share the same acceptor specificity for beta-linked GlcNAc, although they differ in their Km for this acceptor and the donor UDP-Gal. The identification of beta3GalT genes emphasizes the structural diversity present in the galactosyltransferase gene family.

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