Function and formation of beta1,4-galactosyltransferase-specific adhesions during growth and differentiation of F9 embryonal carcinoma cells

Carol Murrell Maillet, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Galactosyltransferase (GalTase) is localized in the Golgi, where it functions in oligosaccharide synthesis, as well as on the cell surface where it serves as a cell adhesion molecule. GalTase-specific adhesions are functional in a number of important biological events, including F9 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cell adhesions. GalTase-based adhesions are formed by recognition and binding to terminal N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues on its glycoprotein counterpart on adjacent cell surfaces. The object of this work has been to investigate the formation and function of GalTase-specific adhesions during F9 cell growth and differentiation. We initially investigated GalTase synthesis during differentiation and found that the increase in GalTase activity was specific for the Golgi compartment; surface GalTase levels remained constant during differentiation. These data indicated that the increase in cell adhesions expected with increased cell-matrix interaction in differentiated F9 cells is not the consequence of increased surface GalTase expression and, more interestingly, that the two pools of GalTase are under differential regulation. Synthesis and recognition of the consociate glycoprotein component was next investigated. Surface GalTase recognized several surface glycoproteins in a pattern that changes with differentiation. Uvomorulin, lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1), and laminin were recognized by surface GalTase and are, therefore, potential components in GalTase-specific adhesions. Furthermore, these interactions were aberrant in an adhesion-defective F9 cell line that results, at least in part, from abnormal oligosaccharide synthesis. The function played by surface GalTase in growth and induction of differentiation was examined. Inhibition of surface GalTase function by a panel of reagents inhibited F9 cell growth. GalTase expression at both the transcription and protein levels were differentially regulated during the cell cycle, with surface expression greatest in the G1 phase. Disruption of GalTase adhesion by exposure to anti-GalTase antibodies during this period resulted in extension of the G2 phase, a result similar to that seen with agents known to inhibit growth and induce differentiation. Finally, other studies have suggested that a subset of cell adhesion molecules have the capability to induce differentiation in EC cells systems. We have determined in F9 cells that dissociating GalTase adhesion by galactosylation of and release of the consociate glycoproteins induces differentiation, as defined by increased laminin synthesis. The ability to induce differentiation by surface galactosylation was greatest in cells grown in cultures promoting cell-cell adhesions, relative to cultures with minimal cell-cell interactions.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Genetics

Recommended Citation

Maillet, Carol Murrell, "Function and formation of beta1,4-galactosyltransferase-specific adhesions during growth and differentiation of F9 embryonal carcinoma cells" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9312170.