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

Synthesis of the branched form of erythroglycan by Friend GM979 erythroleukemic cells.

Mouse GM979 erythroleukemic cells were found to synthesize the branched form of erythroglycan, a large polylactosamine structure known to be attached to band 3 and possibly to other proteins on human erythrocytes. Total protein-derived oligosaccharides from GM979 cells, labeled metabolically with [3H]glucosamine, [3H]mannose, or [3H]galactose, were prepared by hydrazinolysis after extracting the lipids. The 3H-labeled oligosaccharides were fractionated on Sephadex G-50 revealing 10-25% of each labeled product as a high molecular weight fraction (Mr = 10,000). Digestion of this [3H]glucosamine fraction with endo-beta-galactosidase from Escherichia freundii, specific for the repeating structure of Gal beta (1 leads to 4)GlcNAc beta (1 leads to 3), resulted in the following four products upon Bio-Gel P-2 Gel filtration: 1) a disaccharide with the structure GlcNAc beta (1 leads to 3)Gal, 2) a trisaccharide with the structure Gal beta (1 leads to 4)GlcNAc beta (1 leads to 3) beta Gal, 3) a tetrasaccharide with the sequence Fuc alpha (1 leads to 2)Gal beta (1 leads to 4)GlcNAc beta (1 leads to 3)Gal, and 4) a large complex fragment which contained mannose, glucosamine, galactose, and fucose (presumably the protein linkage region). Methylation linkage analysis of the large complex fraction shows mainly the presence of 4-substituted and terminal N-acetylglucosamine; 3,6-substituted, 6-substituted, 2-substituted, and 2,3-substituted galactose. The GM979 cell erythroglycan is only 30% susceptible to endo-beta-galactosidase degradation probably because of the branched galactose residues, whereas the linear form of erythroglycan from human K562 cells is 60% susceptible. The branched residues in GM979 cell saccharides indicate that this mouse cell line bears an arborized erythroglycan-like glycopeptide similar to those found on human adult erythrocytes, and thus may be a source for the enzyme which transfers an N-acetylglucosamine residue to a 3-linked galactose to form a 3,6-disubstituted galactose.[1]


  1. Synthesis of the branched form of erythroglycan by Friend GM979 erythroleukemic cells. Kaizu, T., Turco, S.J., Rush, J.S., Laine, R.A. J. Biol. Chem. (1982) [Pubmed]
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