Role of cell membrane galactosyltransferase in concanavalin A agglutination of erythrocytes

D. K. Podolsky, M. M. Weiser

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1 Scopus citations


It has been previously observed that rabbit erythrocyte cell surface galactosyltransferase appears to play a role in concanavalin A agglutination of these erythrocytes (Podolsky et al., 1974). Further, a correlation between the occurrence or level of cell surface galactosyltransferase and concanavalin A agglutinability of other cell types has been observed. The mechanism by which rabbit erythrocyte galactosyltransferase participates in concanavalin A agglutination has now been further defined. The enzyme was solubilized and purified. Characterization of the enzyme properties showed them to be similar to those reported for other purified galactosyltransferases. Amino acid and carbohydrate analysis showed a high asparagine content and the presence of D mannose. Specific α mannosidase treatment of the enzyme showed that some of these D mannose residues were terminal sugars. The purified enzyme also conferred concanavalin A agglutinability to non agglutinable human erythrocytes. However, the ability to confer concanavalin A agglutinability was unrelated to the enzyme activity per se (as measured with fetuin acceptor) but appeared to be entirely dependent on the presence of terminal α linked D mannosyl residues in the enzyme structure. These findings suggest that the presence of terminal α mannosidyl residues on cell surface glycoproteins such as galactosyltransferase may be the determining factor in agglutination of cells by concanavalin A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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