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Gene Review

Fut4  -  fucosyltransferase 4

Mus musculus

Synonyms: 3-fucosyl-N-acetyl-lactosamine epitope, AI451562, Alpha-(1,3)-fucosyltransferase 4, CD15, Elft, ...
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Disease relevance of Fut4

  • To determine how the alpha(1,3)fucosyltransferases Fuc-TIV and Fuc-TVII, and the selectin ligands they control may contribute to the adaptive immune response, contact hypersensitivity (CHS) was characterized in mice deficient in either or both enzymes [1].
  • These studies identify an important role for FucT-VII in atherogenesis, and a subsidiary role for FucT-IV, and implicate leukocyte selectin counter-receptors in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis [2].
  • Our observations indicate that leukocyte recruitment functions dictated by FucT-IV and FucT-VII-dependent selectin ligand activities are not critical for inducing or maintaining T cell effector responses at levels necessary to control pulmonary tuberculosis [3].
  • For example, in order to monitor in vitro differentiation of multipotential embryonal carcinoma cells, stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 (SSEA-1) and the Lotus agglutinin receptor have been used as markers of the undifferentiated cells, and the Dolichos agglutinin receptor has been used as a marker of extraembryonic endoderm cells [4].
  • During differentiation of human teratocarcinoma 2102Ep cells, the globo-series glycolipids defined by these antibodies decrease and the lacto-series glycolipids, reacting with the SSEA-1 antibody appear [5].

High impact information on Fut4

  • Regulatory mutations in CHO cells induce expression of the mouse embryonic antigen SSEA-1 [6].
  • The alpha(1,3)fucosyltransferases FucT-IV and FucT-VII exert collaborative control over selectin-dependent leukocyte recruitment and lymphocyte homing [7].
  • These observations reveal essential FucT-IV-dependent contributions to E-, P-, and L-selectin ligand synthesis and to the control of leukocyte recruitment and lymphocyte homing [7].
  • These results demonstrate a role for FucT-IV in selectin-dependent adhesion and suggest that the endothelial selectins and FucTs have distinct but overlapping functions in the immunosurveillance of the skin [8].
  • Throughout the culture period most cells within the colonies continued to be alkaline phosphatase-positive and tested positive against a panel of five immunological markers (SSEA-1, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, and TRA-1-81) that have been used routinely to characterize embryonic stem and EG cells [9].

Chemical compound and disease context of Fut4


Biological context of Fut4

  • Therefore, we conclude that expression of the SSEA-1 epitope in the developing mouse embryo is not essential for embryogenesis in vivo [13].
  • For many years, SSEA-1 has been implicated in the development of mouse embryos as a functional carbohydrate epitope in cell-to-cell interaction during morula compaction [13].
  • A comparison of gene expression profiles in PECAM1-positive cells that were either positive or negative for SSEA-1 expression identified only 53 genes that showed a more than 2-fold greater difference in expression levels between these subpopulations [14].
  • METHODS AND RESULTS: Atherosclerotic lesion size and histology were determined in apolipoprotein E-/- mice sufficient or deficient in FucT-IV or FucT-VII [2].
  • The knockdown of Oct4 but not beta2-microglobulin expression in both EC and ES cells resulted in their differentiation, as indicated by a marked change in morphology, growth rate, and surface antigen phenotype, with respect to SSEA1, SSEA3, and TRA-1-60 expression [15].

Anatomical context of Fut4

  • The Fut9 transcript was detected in embryonic-day-13.5 gonads containing primordial germ cells, but the Fut4 transcript was not [13].
  • Neurons and astrocytes in primary culture also expressed 10-15 times more Fut9 than Fut4 transcript [16].
  • Furthermore, both cerebrum and cerebellum at various stages of development (E17, P0, P7, P30, P100) expressed 15-100 times more Fut9 transcript than Fut4 transcript [16].
  • Moreover, alpha1,3-Fut activity toward a polylactosamine chain in homogenates of brain tissues and primary cultured cells showed a pattern typical of Fut9, not Fut4 [16].
  • Stage-specific embryonic antigen 1 (SSEA-1), an antigenic epitope defined as a Lewis x carbohydrate structure, is expressed during the 8-cell to blastocyst stages in mouse embryos and in primordial germ cells, undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, and embryonic carcinoma cells [13].

Associations of Fut4 with chemical compounds

  • Selectin ligand expression increased postischemia in wild-type, but not FucT-IV/FucT-VII-deficient, mice [17].
  • The alpha (1,3)-fucosyltransferase Fuc-TIV, but not Fuc-TVII, generates sialyl Lewis X-like epitopes preferentially on glycolipids [18].
  • In the case of mouse Fuc-TIV (mFuc-TIV) gene, its transcript was only detectable in RA-induced aggregates and not found in either undifferentiated or RA-induced neural cells [19].
  • Moreover, PTPzeta-B did not contain LeX, HNK-1 carbohydrate, or keratan sulfate, although PTPzeta-A and -S were generally modified with these carbohydrates [20].
  • Sialyl LeX was further shown to be carried by a novel glycoprotein, termed small lactosaminoglycan-like glycoprotein (sLAG) which could be purified by immunoaffinity chromatography [10].

Physical interactions of Fut4

  • We show here that LeX-containing molecules in the developing nervous system bind Wnt-1 [21].

Regulatory relationships of Fut4

  • Intravital microscopy experiments revealed that MECA-79-reactive ligands depend primarily on FucT-VII, whereas MECA-79-independent medullary L-selectin ligands are regulated by FucT-IV [22].
  • In contrast, GFAP-expressing cells in similar cultures prepared from adult cerebral cortex did not express detectable levels of LeX/CD15, and exhibited no neurogenic potential [23].
  • FACS analysis showed that the cells strongly positive for SSEA-1 co-expressed Ki67 proliferation antigen in all the developmental stages examined [24].
  • In ovariectomized female mice treated with estrogen, SSEA-1 was the only antigen expressed at the uterine epithelium [25].

Other interactions of Fut4


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Fut4

  • Using genomic PCR and reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR strategies, we isolated coding portions of the CHO Fut4 and Fut9 genes [27].
  • Parental CHO cells and the revertants, LEC11.R9 and LEC12.R10, do not express this antigen as detected by a sensitive radioimmunoassay with a monoclonal antibody to SSEA-1 [6].
  • Multiple labeling immunohistochemistry revealed that both primary astrocyte cultures and adherent neurogenic cultures derived from postnatal or adult periventricular tissue contained subpopulations of GFAP-expressing cells that co-expressed nestin and LeX/CD15, two molecules associated with NSCs [23].
  • The identification of two cell surface markers, SSEA-1 and GM1, on both the native embryonic RG cells and ES-RG cells, may facilitate purification of radial glial cells for future studies and cell therapy [28].
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) of both primary astrocyte cultures and adherent neurogenic cultures for LeX/CD15 showed that GFAP-expressing cells competent to act as multipotent NSCs were concentrated in the LeX-positive fraction [23].


  1. Fuc-TVII is required for T helper 1 and T cytotoxic 1 lymphocyte selectin ligand expression and recruitment in inflammation, and together with Fuc-TIV regulates naive T cell trafficking to lymph nodes. Smithson, G., Rogers, C.E., Smith, P.L., Scheidegger, E.P., Petryniak, B., Myers, J.T., Kim, D.S., Homeister, J.W., Lowe, J.B. J. Exp. Med. (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. Alpha(1,3)fucosyltransferases FucT-IV and FucT-VII control susceptibility to atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-/- mice. Homeister, J.W., Daugherty, A., Lowe, J.B. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Selectin ligand-independent priming and maintenance of T cell immunity during airborne tuberculosis. Schreiber, T., Ehlers, S., Aly, S., Hölscher, A., Hartmann, S., Lipp, M., Lowe, J.B., Hölscher, C. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. Developmentally regulated expression of cell surface carbohydrates during mouse embryogenesis. Muramatsu, T. J. Cell. Biochem. (1988) [Pubmed]
  5. Stage-specific embryonic antigens (SSEA-3 and -4) are epitopes of a unique globo-series ganglioside isolated from human teratocarcinoma cells. Kannagi, R., Cochran, N.A., Ishigami, F., Hakomori, S., Andrews, P.W., Knowles, B.B., Solter, D. EMBO J. (1983) [Pubmed]
  6. Regulatory mutations in CHO cells induce expression of the mouse embryonic antigen SSEA-1. Campbell, C., Stanley, P. Cell (1983) [Pubmed]
  7. The alpha(1,3)fucosyltransferases FucT-IV and FucT-VII exert collaborative control over selectin-dependent leukocyte recruitment and lymphocyte homing. Homeister, J.W., Thall, A.D., Petryniak, B., Malý, P., Rogers, C.E., Smith, P.L., Kelly, R.J., Gersten, K.M., Askari, S.W., Cheng, G., Smithson, G., Marks, R.M., Misra, A.K., Hindsgaul, O., von Andrian, U.H., Lowe, J.B. Immunity (2001) [Pubmed]
  8. Specialized contributions by alpha(1,3)-fucosyltransferase-IV and FucT-VII during leukocyte rolling in dermal microvessels. Weninger, W., Ulfman, L.H., Cheng, G., Souchkova, N., Quackenbush, E.J., Lowe, J.B., von Andrian, U.H. Immunity (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. Derivation of pluripotent stem cells from cultured human primordial germ cells. Shamblott, M.J., Axelman, J., Wang, S., Bugg, E.M., Littlefield, J.W., Donovan, P.J., Blumenthal, P.D., Huggins, G.R., Gearhart, J.D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  10. Murine embryonal carcinoma cell-surface sialyl LeX is present on a novel glycoprotein and on high-molecular-weight lactosaminoglycan. Rosenman, S.J., Fenderson, B.A., Hakomori, S.I. Exp. Cell Res. (1989) [Pubmed]
  11. In vivo antitumor effect of methotrexate conjugated to a monoclonal IgM antibody specific for stage-specific embryonic antigen-1, on MH-15 mouse teratocarcinoma. Persiani, S., Ballou, B., Shen, W.C., Ryser, H.J., Reiland, J.M., Hakala, T.R. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. (1989) [Pubmed]
  12. Cell interactions in preimplantation embryos: evidence for involvement of saccharides of the poly-N-acetyllactosamine series. Rastan, S., Thorpe, S.J., Scudder, P., Brown, S., Gooi, H.C., Feizi, T. Journal of embryology and experimental morphology. (1985) [Pubmed]
  13. Normal embryonic and germ cell development in mice lacking alpha 1,3-fucosyltransferase IX (Fut9) which show disappearance of stage-specific embryonic antigen 1. Kudo, T., Kaneko, M., Iwasaki, H., Togayachi, A., Nishihara, S., Abe, K., Narimatsu, H. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  14. Gene expression profiling of mouse embryonic stem cell subpopulations. Furusawa, T., Ikeda, M., Inoue, F., Ohkoshi, K., Hamano, T., Tokunaga, T. Biol. Reprod. (2006) [Pubmed]
  15. Specific knockdown of Oct4 and beta2-microglobulin expression by RNA interference in human embryonic stem cells and embryonic carcinoma cells. Matin, M.M., Walsh, J.R., Gokhale, P.J., Draper, J.S., Bahrami, A.R., Morton, I., Moore, H.D., Andrews, P.W. Stem Cells (2004) [Pubmed]
  16. Alpha1,3-fucosyltransferase IX (Fut9) determines Lewis X expression in brain. Nishihara, S., Iwasaki, H., Nakajima, K., Togayachi, A., Ikehara, Y., Kudo, T., Kushi, Y., Furuya, A., Shitara, K., Narimatsu, H. Glycobiology (2003) [Pubmed]
  17. Pathophysiological contributions of fucosyltransferases in renal ischemia reperfusion injury. Burne, M.J., Rabb, H. J. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  18. The alpha (1,3)-fucosyltransferase Fuc-TIV, but not Fuc-TVII, generates sialyl Lewis X-like epitopes preferentially on glycolipids. Huang, M.C., Laskowska, A., Vestweber, D., Wild, M.K. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  19. Expression of glycoconjugates bearing the Lewis X epitope during neural differentiation of P19 EC cells. Osanai, T., Chai, W., Tajima, Y., Shimoda, Y., Sanai, Y., Yuen, C.T. FEBS Lett. (2001) [Pubmed]
  20. Characterization and developmental regulation of proteoglycan-type protein tyrosine phosphatase zeta/RPTPbeta isoforms. Nishiwaki, T., Maeda, N., Noda, M. J. Biochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  21. LeX is expressed by principle progenitor cells in the embryonic nervous system, is secreted into their environment and binds Wnt-1. Capela, A., Temple, S. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  22. A novel endothelial L-selectin ligand activity in lymph node medulla that is regulated by alpha(1,3)-fucosyltransferase-IV. M'Rini, C., Cheng, G., Schweitzer, C., Cavanagh, L.L., Palframan, R.T., Mempel, T.R., Warnock, R.A., Lowe, J.B., Quackenbush, E.J., von Andrian, U.H. J. Exp. Med. (2003) [Pubmed]
  23. Phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of GFAP-expressing cells in vitro: differential expression of LeX/CD15 by GFAP-expressing multipotent neural stem cells and non-neurogenic astrocytes. Imura, T., Nakano, I., Kornblum, H.I., Sofroniew, M.V. Glia (2006) [Pubmed]
  24. SSEA-1 marks regionally restricted immature subpopulations of embryonic retinal progenitor cells that are regulated by the Wnt signaling pathway. Koso, H., Ouchi, Y., Tabata, Y., Aoki, Y., Satoh, S., Arai, K., Watanabe, S. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  25. Hormonal control of the expression of antibody-defined lactosaminoglycans in the mouse uterus. Babiarz, B.S., Hathaway, H.J. Biol. Reprod. (1988) [Pubmed]
  26. Embryonic stem cells expressing both platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 and stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 differentiate predominantly into epiblast cells in a chimeric embryo. Furusawa, T., Ohkoshi, K., Honda, C., Takahashi, S., Tokunaga, T. Biol. Reprod. (2004) [Pubmed]
  27. alpha(1,3)fucosyltransferases expressed by the gain-of-function Chinese hamster ovary glycosylation mutants LEC12, LEC29, and LEC30. Patnaik, S.K., Zhang, A., Shi, S., Stanley, P. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (2000) [Pubmed]
  28. Further characterization of embryonic stem cell-derived radial glial cells. Liour, S.S., Kraemer, S.A., Dinkins, M.B., Su, C.Y., Yanagisawa, M., Yu, R.K. Glia (2006) [Pubmed]
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