Targeted gene mutations in mice that cause deficiencies in protein glycosylation have revealed functions for specific glycans structures in embryogenesis, immune cell regulation, fertility and cancer progression. UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:alpha-6-D-mannoside beta1,6 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (GlcNAc-TV or Mgat5) produces N-glycan intermediates that are elongated with poly N-acetyllactosamine to create ligands for the galectin family of mammalian lectins. We generated Mgat5-deficient mice by gene targeting methods in embryonic stem cells, and observed a complex phenotype in adult mice including susceptibility to autoimmune disease, reduced cancer progression and a behavioral defect. We found that Mgat5-modified N-glycans on the T cell receptor (TCR) complex bind to galectin-3, sequestering TCR within a multivalent galectin-glycoprotein lattice that impedes antigen-dependent receptor clustering and signal transduction. Integrin receptor clustering and cell motility are also sensitive to changes in Mgat5-dependent N-glycosylation. These studies demonstrate that low affinity but high avidity interactions between N-glycans and galectins can regulate the distribution of cell surface receptors and their responsiveness to agonists.