The SLC35 family of nucleotide sugar transporters consists of 31 hydrophobic and homologous proteins which are divided into seven subfamilies, from SLC35A to SLC35G. Members of the SLC35G subfamily members are assigned by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC).
The body needs 8 essential sugars to get the best cell function. They are transported to ER and/or Golgi in the form of UDP-GalNAc, GDP-fucose, UPD-GlcNAc, UDP-glucose, UDP-GlcA, UDP-galactose, UDP-xylose, and CMP-sialic acid for the synthesis of biomacromolecules. Mammalian cells do not transport GDP-mannose into the ER or Golgi. To date, members of the SLC35 family have been characterized by encoding a nucleotide sugar transporter localized to the Golgi apparatus and/or the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These transporters transport the nucleotide sugars pooled in the cytosol into the lumen of these organelles, where most glycoconjugate synthesis occurs.
Fig.1 Mechanism of the nucleotide sugar transport system in the Golgi. (Song, 2013)
Pathological analyses and developmental studies of small, multicellular organisms lacking nucleotide sugar transporters indicate that these transporters are involved in tumor metastasis, cellular immunity, organogenesis, and morphogenesis. Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) is associated with the SLC35 members. CDG is caused by defects in the synthesis of N-linked oligosaccharides and can be divided into two groups. Type I disorders involve disrupted the synthesis of the dolichol-linked oligosaccharide precursor or its transfer to the protein. Type II disorders involve defects in the processing of Asn-linked glycans. Only two members of the SLC35 family (SLC35A1 and SLC35C1) are related to human CDG.
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