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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Dec 19;1573(3):328-35.

Modulation of receptor signaling by glycosylation: fringe is an O-fucose-beta1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Developmental Biology, State University of New York-Stony Brook, 11794-5215, USA.


The Notch family of signaling receptors plays key roles in determining cell fate and growth control. Recently, a number of laboratories have shown that O-fucose glycans on the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats of the Notch extracellular domain modulate Notch signaling. Fringe, a known modifier of Notch function, is an O-fucose specific beta1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase. The transfer of GlcNAc to O-fucose on Notch by fringe results in the potentiation of signaling by the Delta class of Notch ligands, but causes inhibition of signaling by the Serrate/Jagged class of Notch ligands. Interestingly, addition of a beta1,4 galactose by beta4GalT-1 to the GlcNAc added by fringe is required for Jagged1-induced Notch signaling to be inhibited in a co-culture assay. Thus, both fringe and beta4GalT-1 are modulators of Notch function. Several models have been proposed to explain how alterations in O-fucose glycans result in changes in Notch signaling, and these models are discussed.

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