Leukosialin, a major O-glycan-containing sialoglycoprotein defining leukocyte differentiation and malignancy

Glycobiology. 1991 Sep;1(4):347-56. doi: 10.1093/glycob/1.4.347.


Leukosialin, also called CD43 or sialophorin, is a major sialoglycoprotein expressed widely in various leukocytes (granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages and T-lymphocytes). Leukosialin is heavily glycosylated by O-linked oligosaccharides (70-80 oligosaccharides/molecule) and the structures of those O-glycans are characteristic to each cell lineage and differentiation stage. In particular, the branched hexasaccharide, NeuNAc alpha 2----3Gal beta 1----3(NeuNAc alpha 2----3Gal beta 1----4GlcNAc beta 1----6)GalNAc is specifically expressed in activated T-lymphocytes as well as in thymocytes and T-lymphocytes from patients with leukaemia, and immuno-deficiency syndromes. A portion of these O-glycans are attached to a domain with tandem repeats in the polypeptide of leukosialin. However, the entire translation product, including such tandem repeats, is coded by one exon and a short novel promoter sequence confers the expression of the leukosialin gene. Leukosialin is apparently involved in T-cell-B-cell interaction during immune reaction and binds to ligands on antigen-presenting B-cells. These results imply that leukosialin plays critical roles in immune cell interaction and differences in attached O-glycans most likely influence the interaction of leukosialin with ligands.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Glycophorins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Leukosialin
  • Sialoglycoproteins / physiology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Glycophorins
  • Leukosialin
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • UN1 sialoglycoprotein, human