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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Jan 21;404(3):822-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.12.067. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Distinct fucosylation of M cells and epithelial cells by Fut1 and Fut2, respectively, in response to intestinal environmental stress.

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Department of Immunology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


The intestinal epithelium contains columnar epithelial cells (ECs) and M cells, and fucosylation of the apical surface of ECs and M cells is involved in distinguishing the two populations and in their response to commensal flora and environmental stress. Here, we show that fucosylated ECs (F-ECs) were induced in the mouse small intestine by the pro-inflammatory agents dextran sodium sulfate and indomethacin, in addition to an enteropathogen derived cholera toxin. Although F-ECs showed specificity for the M cell-markers, lectin Ulex europaeus agglutinin-1 and our monoclonal antibody NKM 16-2-4, these cells also retained EC-phenotypes including an affinity for the EC-marker lectin wheat germ agglutinin. Interestingly, fucosylation of Peyer's patch M cells and F-ECs was distinctly regulated by α(1,2)fucosyltransferase Fut1 and Fut2, respectively. These results indicate that Fut2-mediated F-ECs share M cell-related fucosylated molecules but maintain distinctive EC characteristics, Fut1 is, therefore, a reliable marker for M cells.

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