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

Expression of UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine: beta-galactose beta 1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase in functionally defined T-cell clones.

To measure UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine: beta-galactose beta 1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (beta 1,4-GalNActransferase) in crude cell and tissue extracts we designed an assay containing UDP-[3H]N-acetylgalactosamine as donor and biotinylated human glycophorin A as an acceptor. After incubation the labelled acceptor was separated by the use of avidin-agarose from extract-derived endogenous acceptors. This assay permitted one to measure specifically the beta 1,4-GalNActransferase in crude extracts. This glycosyltransferase has previously been shown to be involved in the biosynthesis of Vicia villosa (hairy winter vetch)-lectin (VV)-binding sites of the murine cytotoxic T-cell line B6. 1. Since VV-binding sites are a distinct marker for the cytotoxic subclass of murine T-lymphocytes, we used this assay to determine enzyme levels in a panel of functionally defined murine T-cell clones. Non-cytolytic T-cell lines generally have low activity, whereas most cytotoxic lines have high levels of activity. However, one cytotoxic T-cell line does not express the enzyme, although it has large numbers of VV-binding sites. This suggests the existence of another type of VV-binding sites which is independent of the beta 1,4-GalNActransferase in some cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte lines. The enzyme was also assayed in a variety of other tissues and found to have a very high activity in the intestine but a low activity in most other tissues. This was in considerable contrast with the ubiquitously high expression of UDP-GalNAc:peptide alpha 1-GalNActransferase. Therefore, the beta 1,4-GalNActransferase seems to be regulated during differentiation.[1]


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