Cell surface galactosyltransferase as a recognition molecule during development

Evelyn M. Bayna, Raymond B. Runyan, Natalie F. Scully, Jonathan Reichner, Linda C. Lopez, Barry D. Shur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recent results from our laboratory suggest that a variety of cellular interactions during development are mediated, in part, by the binding of a cell surface enzyme, galactosyltransferase (GalTase), to its specific lactosaminoglycan (LAG) substrate on adjacent cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix. Our present interest in surface GalTase developed from earlier biochemical studies of a series of morphogenetic mutations in the mouse which map to the T/t-complex. These studies identified a specific defect in the regulation of surface GalTase activity on morphogenetically abnormal cells, while eight other enzymes showed normal activity. This led us to consider the unique function of surface GalTase in those cell interactions that are influenced by mutations of the T/t-complex. By using a multidisciplinary approach, which included genetic, biochemical and immunological probes, we have found that GalTase functions as a surface receptor during fertilization, early embryonic cell adhesions, and embryonic cell migration on basal lamina matrices. Recently, we have examined the expression of surface GalTase during spermatogenesis, as well as the fate of sperm GalTase following the acrosome reaction. This paper summarizes the results of these studies, as well as others, which suggest that GalTase functions as a surface receptor during those cell interactions regulated by the T/t-complex alleles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1986


  • cell interactions
  • galactosyltransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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