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

Bisecting GlcNAc structures act as negative sorting signals for cell surface glycoproteins in forskolin-treated rat hepatoma cells.

The bisecting N-acetylglucosamine residue is formed by UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:beta-D-mannoside-beta-1, 4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GnT-III), a key branching enzyme for N-glycans. We found that forskolin, an adenylyl cyclase activator, markedly enhanced GnT-III at the transcriptional level in various hepatoma cells and hepatocytes, resulting in an increase of bisecting GlcNAc residues in various glycoproteins, as judged from the lectin binding to erythroagglutinating phytohemagglutinin (E-PHA). In whole cell lysates, the E-PHA binding was increased, and leukoagglutinating phytohemagglutinin (L-PHA) binding was decreased at 12 h after forskolin treatment, by time, both GnT-III activity and mRNA had reached the maximum levels. In contrast, the binding capacity as to E-PHA, determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting on the cell surface, was decreased, suggesting that bisecting GlcNAc structures in certain glycoproteins changed the expression levels of glycoproteins and decreased their sorting on the cell surface. Fractionated organelles of M31 cells showed that the binding capacity as to E-PHA was mainly localized in Golgi membranes and lysosomes. This was also supported by a fluorescence microscopy. In order to determine whether or not the bisecting GlcNAc residue acts as a sorting signal for glycoproteins, N-oligosaccharide structures of lysosomal-associated membrane glycoprotein 1 and beta-glucuronidase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, and secretory glycoproteins such as ceruloplasmin and alpha-fetoprotein were measured by E-PHA and L-PHA blotting after immunoprecipitation. The expression levels of lysosomal membrane glycoprotein 1 and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase on the cell surface were decreased at 12 h after forskolin treatment, indicating that the bisecting GlcNAc structure may act as a negative sorting signal for the cell surface glycoproteins and may alter the characteristics of hepatoma cells. This is the first report on glycoprotein sorting related to a specific structure of oligosaccharides, bisecting GlcNAc.[1]


  1. Bisecting GlcNAc structures act as negative sorting signals for cell surface glycoproteins in forskolin-treated rat hepatoma cells. Sultan, A.S., Miyoshi, E., Ihara, Y., Nishikawa, A., Tsukada, Y., Taniguchi, N. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
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