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The Role of β-1,4-Galactosyltransferase-I in the Skin Wound-healing Process

Shen, Aiguo PhD*‡; Qian, Ji MM; Liu, Lei MM; Liu, Haiou MM; Chen, Jianping MM; Niu, Shuqiong PhM*; Yan, Meijuan MD*; Chen, Xiaodong MD§; Shen, Congcong MM§; Gu, Jianxin PhD; Cheng, Chun MD

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: February 2008 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 10-15
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e31815ae330
Original Article

Cell-surface carbohydrate chains are known to contribute to cell migration, interaction, and proliferation. β-1,4-galactosyltransferase-I (β-1,4-GalT-I), which is one of the best-studied glycosyltransferases, plays a key role in the synthesis of type 2 chains in N-glycans and the core 2 branch in O-glycans. Recently, it has been reported that skin wound healing is significantly delayed in β-1,4-GalT-I−/− mice. However, the expression of β-1,4-GalT-I and its biological function in the skin wound-healing process remain to be elucidated. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction to demonstrate that the expression of β-1,4-GalT-I mRNA reached plateau values at 12 hours after skin was injured and remained elevated until 11 days after the injury. Furthermore, lectin blotting showed that β-1,4-galactosylated carbohydrate chains were also increased after skin injury. A double-staining method combining lectin-fluorescent staining with RCA-I and immunofluorescence was first used to determine the cellular localization of β-1,4-galactosylated carbohydrate chains. Morphological analysis showed that the chains were primarily expressed in neutrophils and partially expressed in macrophages, endothelial cells, and collagen. Our results suggest that β-1,4-GalT-I and β-1,4-galactosylated carbohydrate chains participate in leukocyte recruitment, angiogenesis, and collagen deposition in the skin wound-healing process.

From the *The Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Neural Regeneration, Nantong University, Nantong; †Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School of Nantong University (Former Nantong Medical College), Nantong; ‡Gene Research Center, Medical School of Fudan University (Former Shanghai Medical University), Shanghai; and §Department of Dermatology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, People's Republic of China.

Supported by National Natural Scientific Foundation of China Grant (Number 30300099, Number 30770488), Natural Scientific Foundation of JiangSu province Grant (Number BK2003035), and College and University Natural Science Research Programme of Jiangsu province (Number 03KJB180109).

Aiguo Shen and Ji Qian have contributed equally to this work.

Reprints: Chun Cheng, MD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School of Nantong University (Former Nantong Medical College), Nantong, 226001, People's Republic of China (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.