Association of β-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 and β-1,4-galactosyltransferase 1, trans-Golgi enzymes involved in coupled poly-N-acetyllactosamine synthesis

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Abstract

Poly-N-acetyllactosamine (polyLacNAc) is a linear carbohydrate polymer composed of alternating N-acetylglucosamine and galactose residues involved in cellular functions ranging from differentiation to metastasis. PolyLacNAc also serves as a scaffold on which other oligosaccharides such as sialyl Lewis X are displayed. The polymerization of the alternating N-acetylglucosamine and galactose residues is catalyzed by the successive action of UDP-GlcNAc:βGal β-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 (B3GNT1) and UDP-Gal:βGlcNAc β-1,4-galactosyltransferase, polypeptide 1 (B4GALT1), respectively. The functional association between these two glycosyltransferases led us to investigate whether the enzymes also associate physically. We show that B3GNT1 and B4GALT1 colocalize by immunofluorescence microscopy, interact by coimmunoprecipitation, and affect each other's subcellular localization when one of the two proteins is artificially retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. These results demonstrate that B3GNT1 and B4GALT1 physically associate in vitro and in cultured cells, providing insight into possible mechanisms for regulation of polyLacNAc production.

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