Membrane mutants of animal cells: Rapid identification of those with a primary defect in glycosylation

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Membrane mutants of animal cells have been isolated by several laboratories, using a variety of selection protocols. The majority are lectin receptor mutants arising from altered glycosylation of membrane molecules. They have been obtained by selection for resistance to cytotoxic plant lectins or by alternative protocols designed, in many cases, to isolate different classes of receptor mutants. The identification of most membrane mutants expressing altered surface carbohydrates is rapidly achieved by determining their resistance to several lectins of different carbohydrate-binding specificities. For Chinese hamster ovary mutants, genetic novelty may subsequently be determined by complementation analysis with selected members of 10 recessive, glycosylation-defective complementation groups defined by this laboratory. In an attempt to identify new complementation groups, 11 Chinese hamster ovary membrane mutants independently isolated in different laboratories have been investigated for their lectin resistance and complementation properties. Only one new complementation group was defined by these studies. The remaining 10 mutants fell into complementation group 1, 2, 3, or 8. Although no evidence for intragenic complementation was observed, indirect evidence for different mutations within some genes was obtained. Seven of the independent isolates fell into complementation group 1, reflecting the high probability of isolating the Lec1 phenotype from Chinese hamster ovary populations. The results emphasize the importance of performing a genetic analysis before biochemical characterization of putative new membrane mutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-929
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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