Selection of Glycosaminoglycan-Deficient Mutants

  • Xiaomei Bai
  • Brett Crawford
  • Jeffrey D. Esko
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 171)


Mutant cell lines provide an excellent model for studying the structure, assembly and function of proteoglycans under the controlled conditions of tissue culture. Numerous proteoglycan-deficient strains have been isolated, mostly in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and in many cases the defects have been characterized both genetically and biochemically (see Table 1). Biochemical analysis of the mutants has confirmed that various enzyme activities detected in cell-free extracts using synthetic substrates actually play a role in proteoglycan assembly in vivo. The cell lines have allowed investigators to study how altering the composition of proteoglycans affects fundamental properties of cells, such as adhesion and signaling. Moreover, animal cell mutants provide the background for predicting the phenotype of organismal mutants defective in proteoglycan assembly.
Table 1

Cell Mutants with Defined Defects in Glycosaminoglycan Biosynthesis


Biochemical Defect


pgsA (CHO) (28)



pgsB (CHO) (29)

Galactosyltransferase I


pgsG (CHO) (20)

Glucuronosyltransferase I


pgsD (CHO) (30)

N-acetylglucosaminyl/glucuronosyltransferase (EXT-1)

Heparan sulfate-deficient

Gro2C (mouse L-cells) (3,31)

N-acetylglucosaminyl/glucuronosyltransferase (EXT-1)

Heparan sulfate-deficient

ldlD (CHO) (32,33)

UDP-glucose/galactose (GlcNAc/GalNAc) 4-epimerase

Chondroitin sulfate-deficient when starved for GalNAc; GAG-deficient when starved for galactose

pgsC (CHO) (34)

Sulfate transporter

Normal glycosaminoglycans; deficient labeling with 35SO4

pgsE (CHO) (35)

N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase 1 (NDST-1)

Undersulfated heparan sulfate

CM-15 (COS cells) (36)

N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase (undefined locus)

Undersulfated heparan sulfate

pgsF (CHO) (26)


Deficient 2-O-sulfation of heparan sulfate


Chinese Hamster Ovary Cell Polyester Cloth Plant Lectin Mutant Cell Line Replica Plating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaomei Bai
    • 1
  • Brett Crawford
    • 1
  • Jeffrey D. Esko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Glycobiology Research and Training CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoLa Jolla

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