Influence of Lewis alpha1-3/4-L-fucosyltransferase (FUT3) gene mutations on enzyme activity, erythrocyte phenotyping, and circulating tumor marker sialyl-Lewis a levels

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  • Institut for Human Genetik
  • Klinisk Genetisk Afdeling
  • Klinisk Immunologisk Afdeling, SKS
  • Molekylær Medicinsk Forsk.enhed
Fucosylated glycoproteins carrying alpha1-4 fucose residues are of importance for cell adhesion and as tumor markers. The Lewis gene, FUT3, encodes the only known alpha1-4-fucosyltransferase (FucT), and individuals who are deficient in this enzyme type as Lewis-negative on erythrocytes. We examined the mutational spectrum of the Lewis gene in Denmark and found 6 different mutations. Five, T59G, T202C, C314T, G508A, and T1067A, were frequent, and one, C445A, was only detected in one out of 40 individuals. Allele-specific polymerase chain reaction as well as cloning of FUT3 alleles showed that the 202 and 314 mutations were co-located on the same allele. COS7 cells transfected with an allele having the 202/314 mutations lacked enzyme activity. Polymerase chain reaction-cleavage assays were established for the genotyping of healthy individuals as well as 20 genuine Lewis-negative cancer patients and 10 non-genuine. The latter have Lewis-negative erythrocytes but saliva alpha1-4FucT activity. The genuine Lewis-negative individuals had mutations on both FUT3 alleles. In 66 healthy individuals, a gene dosage effect was detected as FUT3 heterozygous individuals had a lower alpha1-4FucT activity in saliva than did homozygous wild-type individuals. The lower enzyme level in heterozygous individuals resulted in a significantly (p <0.04) lower level of circulating sialyl-Lewis a structure in serum. This has the clinical impact that cut-off levels in tumor marker assays should be defined on the basis of genotyping. In the group of non-genuine Lewis-negative cancer patients, whose erythrocytes convert from Lewis-positive to Lewis-negative during the disease, FUT3 heterozygosity was significantly (p <0.05) more common.
TidsskriftJournal of Biological Chemistry
Sider (fra-til)32260-8
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 13 dec. 1996

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