Mouse ST6Gal sialyltransferase gene expression during mammary gland lactation

M Dalziel, RY Huang, F Dall'Olio, Jo Morris, J Taylor-Papadimithiou, JTY Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The sialyltransferase ST6Gal mediates the biosynthetic addition of sialic acid, via an alpha2,6 linkage, to the nonreducing end of terminal lactosamine structures. Transcription of the murine ST6Gal gene, Siat1, is regulated by the selective use of multiple promoters in a tissue- and development-specific manner. Here we report that Siat1 mRNA expression is dramatically elevated in lactating (relative to virgin) mouse mammary gland. The predominant ST6Gal mRNA species expressed in lactating mammary gland is a heretofore undocumented isoform containing a unique 5'-untranslated region originating from the mouse Siat1 genetic region, now defined as Exon L, residing 549-bp 5' of the previously characterized Exon X(2). Thus, the novel ST6Gal mRNA form initiates transcription from the region designated as p4 and incorporates the unique sequence from Exon L in 5'-juxtaposition to commonly shared sequences encoded on Exon I to Exon VI. In contrast, cells derived from virgin mammary tissue expressed only the housekeeping mRNA form derived from p3, with Exon O sequence preceding Exons I-VI. The Exon L-containing, p4 class of mRNA was also not detected in a survey of eight other mouse tissues. Previous reports have indicated a strong correlation between mammary cancers and elevated ST6Gal expression in rats and in human patients. However, we uncovered neither elevated expression of ST6Gal mRNA nor appearance of p4 class in mouse breast carcinomas experimentally induced by transformation with the polyoma-middle T oncogene. A number of established breast carcinoma cell lines were also examined, with ST6Gal mRNA and activity generally low. Moreover, with the exception of the Shionogi cell line, p4 class of ST6Gal mRNA was not expressed in any of the mouse breast carcinoma specimens examined. Taken together, our data indicate that murine ST6Gal induction during lactation is achieved by de novo recruitment of a normally silent promoter. Furthermore, the data provide no support for elevated Siat1 expression on the mRNA level in association with murine mammary gland carcinogenesis. With the single exception of the Shionogi cell line, the p3 class remains the predominant ST6Gal mRNA expressed in all other murine mammary carcinoma cells examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Mouse ST6Gal sialyltransferase gene expression during mammary gland lactation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this