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FEBS Lett. 2001 Nov 2;507(3):307-12.

Plant members of the alpha1-->3/4-fucosyltransferase gene family encode an alpha1-->4-fucosyltransferase, potentially involved in Lewis(a) biosynthesis, and two core alpha1-->3-fucosyltransferases.

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Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands.


Three putative alpha1-->3/4-fucosyltransferase (alpha1-->3/4-FucT) genes have been detected in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. The products of two of these genes have been identified in vivo as core alpha1-->3-FucTs involved in N-glycosylation. An orthologue of the third gene was isolated from a Beta vulgaris cDNA library. The encoded enzyme efficiently fucosylates Galbeta1-->3GlcNAcbeta1-->3Galbeta1-->4Glc. Analysis of the product by 400 MHz (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that the product is alpha1-->4-fucosylated at the N-acetylglucosamine residue. In vitro, the recombinant B. vulgaris alpha1-->4-FucT acts efficiently only on neutral type 1 chain-based glycan structures. In plants the enzyme is expected to be involved in Lewis(a) formation on N-linked glycans.

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