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Glycoconj J. 2011 Oct;28(7):481-92. doi: 10.1007/s10719-011-9348-z. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Comparative analysis of involvement of UGT1 and UGT2 splice variants of UDP-galactose transporter in glycosylation of macromolecules in MDCK and CHO cell lines.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Tamka 2, 50-137, Wroclaw, Poland.


Nucleotide sugar transporters deliver nucleotide sugars into the Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. This study aimed to further characterize mammalian UDP-galactose transporter (UGT) in MDCK and CHO cell lines. MDCK-RCA(r) and CHO-Lec8 mutant cell lines are defective in UGT transporter, although they exhibit some level of galactosylation. Previously, only single forms of UGT were identified in both cell lines, UGT1 in MDCK cells and UGT2 in CHO cells. We have identified the second UGT splice variants in CHO (UGT1) and MDCK (UGT2) cells. Compared to UGT1, UGT2 is more abundant in nearly all examined mammalian tissues and cell lines, but MDCK cells exhibit different relative distribution of both splice variants. Complementation analysis demonstrated that both UGT splice variants are necessary for N- and O-glycosylation of proteins. Both mutant cell lines produce chondroitin-4-sulfate at only a slightly lower level compared to wild-type cells. This defect is corrected by overexpression of both UGT splice variants. MDCK-RCA(r) mutant cells do not produce keratan sulfate and this effect is not corrected by either UGT splice variant, overexpressed either singly or in combination. Here we demonstrate that both UGT splice variants are important for glycosylation of proteins. In contrast to MDCK cells, MDCK-RCA(r) mutant cells may possess an additional defect within the keratan sulfate biosynthesis pathway.

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