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J Biol Chem. 1993 Mar 15;268(8):5409-16.

Regulation of UDP-GlcNAc:Gal beta 1-3GalNAc-R beta 1-6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (GlcNAc to GalNAc) in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

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


UDP-GlcNAc:Gal beta 3GalNAc-R (GlcNAc to GalNAc) beta 1-6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (i.e. core 2 GlcNAc-T) of the O-linked oligosaccharide pathway is developmentally regulated in human T cells, and changes in its activity have been associated with malignancies and the Wiskott-Aldrich immunodeficiency syndrome. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells normally express low levels of core 2 GlcNAc-T activity (8-12 pmol/mg/h) which can be accurately measured with a two-step assay employing purified bovine beta 1-4Gal-T and high specific activity UDP-[3H]Gal to radiolabel the core 2 reaction product. CHO cells treated with 2 mM sodium butyrate for 24 h exhibited a 16-fold increase in core 2 GlcNAc-T activity, whereas several other differentiating agents including dimethyl sulfoxide, retinoic acid, phorbol ester, and cholera toxin had no effect on activity. The addition of butyrate, cholera toxin, or dimethyl sulfoxide to CHO cells slowed cell proliferation and induced changes in cell morphology characteristic of cell differentiation. Induction of core 2 GlcNAc-T by butyrate was blocked by actinomycin D and cycloheximide. Butyrate treatment also elevated cytosolic cAMP levels with a time course which paralleled, but preceded, induction of core 2 GlcNAc-T activity by approximately 8 h. The protein kinase inhibitors H-7 and H-8 blocked butyrate-dependent induction of enzyme activity, whereas the inactive analogue H1004 had no effect. Core 2 GlcNAc-T showed a change in Km for UDP-GlcNAc, from 0.50 mM in untreated cells to 4.54 mM in butyrate + cholera toxin treated CHO cells, but no changes in Km for the synthetic acceptor, Gal beta 1-3GalNAc alpha-para-nitrophenyl. Despite the 9-fold increase in Km for sugar nucleotide, Vmax/Km was 8.8-fold greater in treated compared with untreated cells. These observations suggest that in CHO cells induction of core 2 GlcNAc-T by butyrate treatment requires de novo gene transcription/translation, activation of protein kinase(s), and is associated with changes in the kinetic properties of the enzyme.

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