Structure and expression of the gene encoding secretor-type galactoside 2-alpha-L-fucosyltransferase (FUT2)

Eur J Biochem. 1997 Jun 15;246(3):750-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1997.t01-1-00750.x.


The expression and secretion of ABO antigens in epithelial cells of glands are controlled by secretor-type alpha (1,2)fucosyltransferase activity. We have examined the expression of the secretor-type alpha(1,2)fucosyltransferase gene (FUT2) and a pseudogene of FUT2 (Sec1) in several tumor cell lines by northern blot and/or reverse-transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses. Transcripts of FUT2 were found in total RNA from ovarian, gastric and colonic cancer cell lines but not from six leukemic cell lines, including erythroleukemic HEL cells, by RT-PCR. On the other hand, RT-PCR indicated that Sec1 was expressed in all these tumor cells, including all hematopoietic cells studied. Northern blot analysis indicated that FUT2 transcripts with a similar size (3.3 kb) were expressed in cancer cell lines. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends suggested that the entire FUT2 cDNA is 3.1-kb long and has two Alu repetitive elements in its 3' untranslated region, including an inverted repeat. The mRNA, therefore, may form a large stem-and-loop structure (1.2 kb). Each stem contains about 300 bases, the loop contains 640 bases, and the percentage of complementary nucleotide sequences in the stem region is 85%. The presence of a large stem-and-loop structure in the 3' untranslated region may regulate the level of the FUT2 transcript by affecting the stability of the mRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • COS Cells
  • Exons
  • Fucosyltransferases / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Munc18 Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*


  • Munc18 Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Fucosyltransferases
  • galactoside 2-alpha-L-fucosyltransferase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB000931
  • GENBANK/D87942
  • GENBANK/D87945
  • GENBANK/D87946
  • GENBANK/D87947