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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Feb 2;96(3):974-9.

Three proteins involved in Caenorhabditis elegans vulval invagination are similar to components of a glycosylation pathway.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 68-425, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


We have molecularly analyzed three genes, sqv-3, sqv-7, and sqv-8, that are required for wild-type vulval invagination in Caenorhabditis elegans. The predicted SQV-8 protein is similar in sequence to two mammalian beta(1,3)-glucuronyltransferases, one of which adds glucuronic acid to protein-linked galactose-beta(1, 4)-N-acetylglucosamine. SQV-3 is similar to a family of glycosyltransferases that includes vertebrate beta(1, 4)-galactosyltransferases, which create galactose-beta(1, 4)-N-acetylglucosamine linkages. One model is therefore that SQV-8 uses a SQV-3 product as a substrate. SQV-7 is similar to members of a family of nucleotide-sugar transporters. The sqv genes therefore are likely to encode components of a conserved glycosylation pathway that assembles a C. elegans carbohydrate moiety, the absence of which perturbs vulval invagination.

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