Physical and functional association of glucuronyltransferases and sulfotransferase involved in HNK-1 biosynthesis

Yasuhiko Kizuka, Takahiro Matsui, Hiromu Takematsu, Yasunori Kozutsumi, Toshisuke Kawasaki, Shogo Oka

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47 Citations (Scopus)


HNK-1 carbohydrate expressed predominantly in the nervous system is considered to be involved in cell migration, recognition, adhesion, and synaptic plasticity. Human natural killer-1 (HNK-1) carbohydrate has a unique structure consisting of a sulfated trisaccharide (HSO3-3GlcAβ1- 3Galβ1-4GlcNAc-) and is sequentially biosynthesized by one of two glucuronyltransferases (GlcAT-P or GlcAT-S) and a sulfotransferase (HNK-1ST). Considering that almost all the HNK-1 carbohydrate structures so far determined in the nervous system are sulfated, we hypothesized that GlcAT-P or GlcAT-S functionally associates with HNK-1ST, which results in efficient sequential biosynthesis of HNK-1 carbohydrate. In this study, we demonstrated that both GlcAT-P and GlcAT-S were co-immunoprecipitated with HNK-1ST with a transient expression system in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that these enzymes are mainly co-localized in the Golgi apparatus. To determine which domain is involved in this interaction, we prepared the C-terminal catalytic domains of GlcAT-P, GlcAT-S, and HNK-1ST, and we then performed pulldown assays with the purified enzymes. As a result, we obtained evidence that mutual catalytic domains of GlcAT-P or GlcAT-S and HNK-1ST are important and sufficient for formation of an enzyme complex. With an in vitro assay system, the activity of HNK-1ST increased about 2-fold in the presence of GlcAT-P or GlcAT-S compared with that in its absence. These results suggest that the function of this enzyme complex is relevant to the efficient sequential biosynthesis of the HNK-1 carbohydrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13644-13651
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 12-05-2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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