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Biochem Cell Biol. 1989 Sep;67(9):503-9.

Altered expression of leucocyte sialoglycoprotein in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is associated with a specific defect in O-glycosylation.

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Department of Medicine, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Ont., Canada.


The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked immune deficiency disorder characterized clinically by both lymphocyte and platelet dysfunction. Studies of WAS T lymphocytes have revealed deficient or defective cell surface expression of the highly O-glycosylated leucocyte sialoglycoprotein CD43. To further elucidate the basis for, and functional relevance of, CD43 modifications on WAS lymphocytes, we have studied lymphocytes from two WAS patients with regard to membrane glycoprotein profile and mitogen-induced proliferative responses. CD43 was found to be either absent or altered in size on peripheral blood lymphocytes and lectin-stimulated T cells from both patients. Compared with control cells, the WAS lymphocytes displayed reduced, but measurable proliferative responses to lectins and neuraminidase/galactose oxidase, and virtually no response to periodate, a mitogenic agent which targets sialic acid residues on membrane glycoproteins such as CD43. Analysis of activities of three glycosyltransferases involved in O-glycosylation revealed marked reduction in the level of activity of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine: Gal beta 1-3GalNAc-R beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosamine (beta-1,6-GlcNAc) transferase in one WAS patient and no detectable activity of this enzyme in a second. beta-1,6-GlcNAc transferase activity has recently been shown to increase during T cell activation coincident with changes in the O-linked glycans on CD43. A selective reduction of this glycosyltransferase in WAS lymphocytes suggests that O-linked oligosaccharides may be important to the structure of membrane glycoproteins involved in lymphocyte activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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