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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Dec 19;1573(3):414-22.

UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:alpha-6-D-mannoside beta1,6 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (Mgat5) deficient mice.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Targeted gene mutations in mice that cause deficiencies in protein glycosylation have revealed functions for specific glycans structures in embryogenesis, immune cell regulation, fertility and cancer progression. UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:alpha-6-D-mannoside beta1,6 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (GlcNAc-TV or Mgat5) produces N-glycan intermediates that are elongated with poly N-acetyllactosamine to create ligands for the galectin family of mammalian lectins. We generated Mgat5-deficient mice by gene targeting methods in embryonic stem cells, and observed a complex phenotype in adult mice including susceptibility to autoimmune disease, reduced cancer progression and a behavioral defect. We found that Mgat5-modified N-glycans on the T cell receptor (TCR) complex bind to galectin-3, sequestering TCR within a multivalent galectin-glycoprotein lattice that impedes antigen-dependent receptor clustering and signal transduction. Integrin receptor clustering and cell motility are also sensitive to changes in Mgat5-dependent N-glycosylation. These studies demonstrate that low affinity but high avidity interactions between N-glycans and galectins can regulate the distribution of cell surface receptors and their responsiveness to agonists.

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