Cloning of a novel member of the UDP-galactose:beta-N-acetylglucosamine beta1,4-galactosyltransferase family, beta4Gal-T4, involved in glycosphingolipid biosynthesis

J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov 6;273(45):29331-40. doi: 10.1074/jbc.273.45.29331.


A novel putative member of the human UDP-galactose:beta-N-acetylglucosamine beta1,4-galactosyltransferase family, designated beta4Gal-T4, was identified by BLAST analysis of expressed sequence tags. The sequence of beta4Gal-T4 encoded a type II membrane protein with significant sequence similarity to other beta1,4-galactosyltransferases. Expression of the full coding sequence and a secreted form of beta4Gal-T4 in insect cells showed that the gene product had beta1,4-galactosyltransferase activity. Analysis of the substrate specificity of the secreted form revealed that the enzyme catalyzed glycosylation of glycolipids with terminal beta-GlcNAc; however, in contrast to beta4Gal-T1, -T2, and -T3, this enzyme did not transfer galactose to asialo-agalacto-fetuin, asialo-agalacto-transferrin, or ovalbumin. The catalytic activity of beta4Gal-T4 with monosaccharide acceptor substrates, N-acetylglucosamine as well as glucose, was markedly activated in the presence of alpha-lactalbumin. The genomic organization of the coding region of beta4Gal-T4 was contained in six exons. All intron/exon boundaries were similarly positioned in beta4Gal-T1, -T2, and -T3. beta4Gal-T4 represents a new member of the beta4-galactosyltransferase family. Its kinetic parameters suggest unique functions in the synthesis of neolactoseries glycosphingolipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Glycosphingolipids / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • N-Acetyllactosamine Synthase / chemistry
  • N-Acetyllactosamine Synthase / genetics*
  • N-Acetyllactosamine Synthase / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Glycosphingolipids
  • N-Acetyllactosamine Synthase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF022367