Different locations of carbohydrate-containing sites in the surface membrane of normal and transformed mammalian cells

Ben Ami Sela, Halina Lis, Nathan Sharon, Leo Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A soybean agglutinin was found to agglutinate mouse, rat and human cell lines transformed by viral carcinogens, but not hamster cells transformed by viral or non-viral carcinogens. Normal cells from which the transformed cells were derived were not agglutinated by this agglutinin, but they were rendered agglutinable after short incubation with trypsin or pronase. The transformed hamster cells, on the other hand, became agglutinable only after prolonged treatment with pronase. The agglutination was specifically inhibited by N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, indicating that N-acetyl-d-galactosamine-like saccharides are part of the receptor sites for soybean agglutinin on the surface membrane. Such sites exist in a cryptic form in normal cells; they are exposed in transformed mouse, rat and human cells, but become less accessible in transformed hamster cells. The receptor sites for soybean agglutinin differ from the receptors for two other plant agglutinins (wheat germ agglutinin that interacts with N-acetyl-d-glucosamine-like sites and Concanavalin A that interacts with α-d-glucopyranoside-like sites) which become exposed upon transformation of all lines tested. In normal hamster cells, the receptors for all three agglutinins become exposed after incubation with trypsin, but the exposure of N-acetyl-d-galactosamine-like sites requires the longest enzyme treatment. The results indicate a difference in the location of different carbohydrate-containing sites in the surface membrane. The differences in the exposure of carbohydrate-containing sites in the membrane could not be correlated with the levels of carbohydrate-splitting glycosidases in normal and transformed cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1970
Externally publishedYes

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