Porcine β1,4-galactosyltransferase-i sequence and expression

E. A. Landers, H. R. Burkin, G. T. Bleck, L. Howell-Skalla, D. J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


β1,4-Galactosyltransferase-I (B4GALT1), one of seven β1,4-galactosyltransferases, is an enzyme commonly found in the trans-Golgi complex that adds galactose to oligosaccharides. In the three mammals studied to date, the B4GALT1 gene directs production of B4GALT1 protein using either of two transcription start sites. The product of the smaller transcript serves the traditional biosynthetic role in the Golgi. This form also complexes with α-lactalbumin, a mammary-specific protein, to form lactose synthase. In addition to a biosynthetic role, the protein translated from the longer transcript appears on the plasma membranes of some cells where it serves as a signalling receptor in cell-matrix interactions such as sperm-egg binding. The objective of this study was to sequence the protein-coding region of porcine B4GALT1 and examine the sequence for relationships to the bovine, human, murine and chicken B4GALT1 genes. The sequence for the 1203 base pair protein-coding region of porcine B4GALT1 was obtained. Analysis of the deduced protein sequences revealed that the transmembrane region displayed the highest identity between the four mammals. The catalytic domain was 84-88% identical between the porcine sequence and those of the bovine, human and mouse. The porcine protein had the lowest overall homology to the chicken amino acid sequence, 58% identity. Conservation of both transcription start sites in the porcine gene supports the existence of two isoforms. When compared to the other mammalian B4GALT1 genes, the porcine coding sequence contained a single threonine codon inserted into the region encoding the cytoplasmic domain. Two putative phosphorylation sites in the mouse cytoplasmic domain were conserved in the porcine sequence. Northern blots revealed a widely expressed 4.4 kb transcript that was more abundant in the mammary gland during lactation. These results are important for studies of the function of this unusual and important glycosyltransferase during glycoprotein biosynthesis, lactation and fertilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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