Terminal glycosylation of cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells

Andrew D. Rhim, Vaishali A. Kothari, Paul J. Park, Andrew E. Mulberg, Mary Catherine Glick, Thomas F. Scanlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cystic fibrosis (CF) has a characteristic glycosylation phenotype usually expressed as a decreased ratio of sialic acid to fucose. The glycosylation phenotype was found in CF/T1 airway epithelial cells (ΔF508/ΔF508). When these cells were transfected and were expressing high amounts of wtCFTR, as detected by Western blot analysis and in situ hybridization, the cell membrane glycoconjugates had an increased sialic acid content and decreased fucosyl residues in α1,3/4 linkage to antennary N-acetyl glucosamine (Fucα1,3/4GlcNAc). After the expression of wtCFTR decreased, the amount of sialic acid and Fucα1,3/4GlcNAc returned to levels shown by the parent CF cells. Sialic acid was measured by chemical analysis and Fucα1,3/4GlcNAc was detected with a specific α1,3/4 fucosidase. CF and non-CF airway cells in primary culture also had a similar reciprocal relationship between fucosylation and sialylation. It is possible that the glycosylation phenotype is involved in the pathogenesis of CF lung disease by facilitating bacterial colonization and leukocyte recruitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number312957
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalGlycoconjugate Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Airway epithelial cells
  • CFTR
  • CFTR transfection
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Glycosylation
  • Sialic acid
  • α1,3fucose

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