, Volume 447, Issue 5, pp 768-775
Date: 21 May 2003

Molecular physiology and pathology of the nucleotide sugar transporter family (SLC35)

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The solute carrier family SLC35 consists of at least 17 molecular species in humans. The family members so far characterized encode nucleotide sugar transporters localizing at the Golgi apparatus and/or the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These transporters transport nucleotide sugars pooled in the cytosol into the lumen of these organelles, where most glycoconjugate synthesis occurs. Pathological analyses and developmental studies of small, multicellular organisms deficient in nucleotide sugar transporters have shown these transporters to be involved in tumour metastasis, cellular immunity, organogenesis and morphogenesis. Leukocyte adhesion deficiency type II (LAD II) or the congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIc (CDG IIc) are the sole human congenital disorders known to date that are caused by a defect of GDP-fucose transport. Along with LAD II, the possible involvement of nucleotide sugar transporters in disorders of connective tissues and muscles is also discussed.