KO Mice of α-2,8-sialyltransferase (GD3 Synthase)
Gangliosides have been considered to play important roles in the development and differentiation of nervous systems in vertebrates. In particular, b-series gangliosides were reported to be effective as a neurotrophic factor, e.g. as inducer of neurite extension. In order to directly address these functions, we generated knockout mice of α-2,8-sialyltransferase gene (Haraguchi et al. 1994) that is responsible for the synthesis of GD3 (and GT3), and clearly showed that this enzyme is really critical for the synthesis of b-series gangliosides (Okada et al. 2002). The null mutant mice showed no apparent neurological disorders, and their brain and nervous tissues were almost normally generated. They showed no defects in spermatogenesis and immunological examination. However, the null mutants demonstrated reduced neuroregeneration in the hypoglossal resection experiments, suggesting that b-series gangliosides are important in the repair of lesioned nerves (Okada et al. 2002).
KeywordsHypoglossal Nerve Null Mutant Mouse Immunological Examination Sialyltransferase Gene
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