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T h e r e f o r e , G a l T a s e is available for binding to s u b s t r a t e s on adjacent cells or in the extracellular e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e sugar d o n o r s u b s t r a t e , U D P G a l , is not normally present in the extracellular fluids, but if made available, the GalTase will catalyze the r e a c t i o n , t h u s dissociating the cells. The glycosyltransferases represent a highly diverse and heterogeneous family of enzymes. They are named according to their sugar nucleotide and sugar acceptor substrates.
On some embryonic cell surfaces, it is the only detectable glycosyltransferase activity despite the presence of many glycosyltransferase activities within the cell (Shur, 1982b). Second, and more critical, was the demonstration that a series of mouse mutations that map to the Tit complex, and that influence a variety of cellular interactions during fertilization and development, are characterized by a specific alteration in the level of GalTase on the surface of mutant cells (Shur and Bennett, 1979; Shur, 1981; Shur, 1982b).
Sei. A. 74, 2456-2460. 3 Galactosyltransferase as a Recognition Molecule during Fertilization and Development BARRY D. SHUR D e p a r t m e n t of B i o c h e m i s t r y and M o l e c u l a r Biology T h e U n i v e r s i t y of T e x a s M. D. Anderson Cancer Center H o u s t o n , T e x a s 77030 I. I n t r o d u c t i o n A . Cellular I n t e r a c t i o n s B. G a m e t e Recognition C. C h a p t e r O r g a n i z a t i o n II. G a l a c t o s y l t r a n s f e r a s e III. Cell Surface G a l T a s e I V .