Cell surface galactosyltransferase structure and function during mesenchymal cell migration

David Jay Eckstein, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


In order to more fully understand the function of surface GalTase on mesenchymal cells, anti-GalTase IgG was used to (a) examine the role of surface GalTase during mouse mesenchymal cell migration on laminin and fibronectin; (b) define the plasma membrane distribution of GalTase by indirect immunofluorescence on migrating cells; (c) quantitate the level of surface GalTase on migrating cells; and (d) determine whether GalTase is associated with the cytoskeleton. Results show that anti-GalTase IgG was able to inhibit migration (48-80% as compared to basal rate) when cells were migrating on laminin-containing matrices. Monovalent Fab fragments inhibited migration on laminin by 90% after 4 hours. On the other hand, anti-GalTase IgG had no effect on cells migrating on fibronectin. This illustrates the substrate specificity of GalTase mediated-migration. When anti-GalTase IgG was used to localize surface GalTase on cells migratory on laminin, the enzyme was restricted to the leading and trailing edges of the cell. Assays indicate that GalTase is elevated approximately 3-fold when cells are migrating on laminin-containing matrices as compared to migratory cells on plastic or fibronectin, or as compared to stationary cells on any substrate. Laminin appears to recruit GalTase from preexisting intracellular pools to the growing lamellipodia. Double-label indirect immunofluorescence studies indicate that there is an apparent co-localization between some of the surface GalTase and some actin filaments. This relationship was explored by extracting cells prelabeled with anti-GalTase IgG and quantitated by radiolabeled second antibodies. Results show that 79% of the surface GalTase is associated with the cytoskeleton (as judged by detergent insolubility) when monovalent antibodies (Fab) are used. However virtually all (80-100%) of the surface GalTase can be induced to associate with the cytoskeleton when cross-linked with bivalent antibodies. Furthermore, when cells in suspension are incubated with divalent antibodies, an additional 66% of the surface GalTase can be induced to associate with the cytoskeleton. The elevated levels of surface GalTase detectable on cells migrating on laminin also appear to be associated with the cytoskeleton. Several lines of evidence suggest that GalTase is associated with F-actin. Data suggest that laminin induces the expression of surface GalTase to the growing lamellipodia where it becomes associated with the cytoskeleton leading to cell spreading and migration. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Anatomy & physiology|Biology

Recommended Citation

Eckstein, David Jay, "Cell surface galactosyltransferase structure and function during mesenchymal cell migration" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9111268.