Molecular cloning and characterization of CFT1, a developmentally regulated avian α(1,3)-fucosyltransferase gene

Kelvin P. Lee*, Louise M. Carlson, Juliana B. Woodcock, Nandini Ramachandra, Terrie L. Schultz, Thomas A. Davis, John B. Lowe, Craig B. Thompson, Robert D. Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Although coordinate expression of carbohydrate epitopes during development is well described, mechanisms which regulate this expression remain largely unknown. In this study we demonstrate that developing chicken B cells express the Lewis(x) terminal oligosaccharide structure in a stage- specific manner. To examine regulation of this expression, we have cloned and expressed the chicken α(1,3)-fucosyltransferase gene involved in Lewis(x) biosynthesis, naming it chicken fucosyltransferase 1 (CFT1). CFT1 is characterized by a single long open reading frame of 356 amino acids encoding a type II transmembrane glycoprotein. The domain structure and predicted amino acid sequence are highly conserved between CFT1 and mammalian Fuc-TIV genes (52.8% and 46.3% identity to mouse and human respectively). In vitro CFT1 fucosyltransferase activity utilizes LacNAc > 3'sialyl-LacNAc acceptors with almost no utilization of other neutral type II (lactose, 2- fucosyllactose), or type I (lacto-N-biose I) acceptors. CFT1-transfected cells make cell surface Lewis(x) (COS-7) and Lewis(x) + VIM-2 structures (Chinese hamster ovary). CFT1 gene expression is tissue-specific and includes embryonic thymus and bursa. Furthermore, expression of the CFT1 gene and cell surface Lewis(x) structures are closely linked during B cell development. These findings reveal the evolutionary conservation between nonmammalian and mammalian α(1,3)-fucosyltransferase genes and demonstrate a role for fucosyltransferase gene regulation in the developmental expression of oligosaccharide structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32960-32967
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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