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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The role of asparagine-linked carbohydrate in natural killer cell-mediated cytolysis.

Chinese hamster ovary cell lines with specific lesions in the formation of glycoconjugates were tested for their sensitivity to lysis by interferon-boosted human natural killer cells. We report here that the type of asparagine-linked carbohydrate present on target cell glycoproteins determines their susceptibility to natural killer lysis. The targets tested were Chinese hamster ovary parent cells and Lec1, Lec2, and Lec8 mutants. Lec8 and Lec2 cells show an overall reduction of galactose and/or sialic acid in their glycoconjugates due to defects in the translocation of UDP-galactose and CMP-sialic acid, respectively. Due to a specific block in N-linked carbohydrate processing, Lec1 cells produce only high mannose-type oligosaccharides, but their glycolipids are identical to those of the parent. Both Lec2 and Lec8 mutants are more sensitive to natural killer lysis than the parent cells. This is consistent with their extensive reduction in cell surface sialic acid. Furthermore, Lec1 mutants are more susceptible to natural killer lysis than the parent cells. To confirm that the increased natural killer sensitivity of Lec1 cells was due to the modification of N-linked carbohydrate, parent cells were treated with swainsonine, a specific inhibitor of N-linked oligosaccharide processing. Swainsonine-treated parent cells are nearly as sensitive to natural killer lysis as the Lec1 mutants.[1]


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