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Glycoconj J. 1998 Apr;15(4):379-88.

alpha1,3 Fucosyltransferase, alpha-L-fucosidase, alpha-D-galactosidase, beta-D-galactosidase, and Le(x) glycoconjugates in developing rat brain.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, E.K. Shriver Center, Waltham, MA 02254, USA. gwiederschain@Shriver.org


Fucosyltransferases (FTs) and various glycosidases that are involved in the biosynthesis or degradation of SSEA-1 (Le(x)) antigens and their precursors in the CNS are developmentally regulated. In forebrain and cerebellum with lactosamine (LacNAc) as acceptor the FT activity was maximal at P15-P22, but with the glycolipid substrate paragloboside (nLc4) the maximal activity in cerebellum was obtained at P10-P15. The FT activity, with these substrates, was insensitive to N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) and the glycolipid product had an alpha1,3 linkage (Fuc to GlcNAc) suggesting similarities of the investigated enzyme to the cloned human and rat FT IV. However, the observation of different patterns of FT activity in isoelectrofocused fractions (pH 3.5-10) with different types of acceptors, and the differential expression of Le(x) containing glycolipids and glycoproteins during development strongly suggest the presence of more than one type of FT during development. Data on developmental expression of the hydrolytic enzymes, alpha-L-fucosidase, beta-D-galactosidase and alpha-D-galactosidase, which can potentially hydrolyse SSEA-1 or its precursors, support the notion that SSEA-1 expression is the result of a dynamic balance between the activity of transferases and hydrolases.

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