UDP-Gal: BetaGlcNAc Beta 1,4-Galactosyltransferase, Polypeptide 2-6; Xylosylprotein Beta 1,4-Galactosyltransferase, Polypeptide 7 (Galactosyltransferase I) (B4GALT2-7)

  • Kiyoshi Furukawa
  • Henrik Clausen
  • Takashi Sato
Reference work entry


The Galβ1 → 4GlcNAc structure is commonly found in the outer chain moieties of N- and O-glycans. The terminal galactose itself is involved in galectin-mediated biological events including apoptosis and growth regulation of cells (Perillo et al. 1995; Tadokoro et al. 2009), and many biologically active carbohydrate determinants involved in cell adhesion processes such as polysialic acid, HNK-1 carbohydrate, poly-N-acetyllactosamine, Lewis X, and sialyl Lewis X are expressed on the Galβ1 → 4GlcNAc group. In glycolipids, diverse structures classified into lacto-, neolacto-, ganglio-, and globo-series are all constructed on the Galβ1 → 4Glc group of lactosylceramide. Similarly, a variety of glycosaminoglycans including chondroitin sulfate and heparan sulfate chains are attached to core proteins through the Galβ1 → 4Xyl group. Therefore, β4-galactosyltransferases (β4GalTs), which transfer galactose from UDP-Gal to N-acetylglucosamine, glucose, or xylose, are key enzymes in glycobiology. Targeted inactivation of some of the mouse β4GalTs showed that the galactose-containing glycans are important for cell growth and differentiation and higher brain functions (Asano et al. 1997; Kido et al. 1998; Kumagai et al. 2009; Lu et al. 1997; Nishie et al. 2010; Yoshihara et al. 2009). To date, seven mammalian β4GalT genes have been isolated and shown to be in the family (reviewed in Amado et al. 1999; Furukawa and Sato 1999). There are also several genes homologous to those of mammalian β4GalTs in invertebrates such as the nematoda and snail (reviewed in Amado et al. 1999; Lo et al. 1998). This review mainly summarizes the properties of six mammalian β4GalTs although some of their acceptor specificities have not yet been established.


Polysialic Acid Heparan Sulfate Chain High Brain Function Acceptor Specificity Terminal Galactose 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoshi Furukawa
    • 1
  • Henrik Clausen
    • 2
  • Takashi Sato
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringNagaoka University of TechnologyNiigataJapan
  2. 2.Copenhagen Center for Glycomics, Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineUniversity of Copenhagen, Institute of Health ScienceCopenhagen NDenmark
  3. 3.Research Center for Medical GlycoscienceNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan

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