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It is now well established that hypogalactosylation of IgG is a molecular marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the mechanism for the alteration of the galactosylation status has not been resolved. We compared the galactosyltransferase activities of anti-CD19 selected peripheral B lymphocytes of healthy subjects and patients with RA using ovalbumin as the acceptor substrate. In addition, certain samples of lymphocytes were assayed after Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) transformation and, also, the ability of bovine milk galactosyltransferase to galactosylate IgG in vitro was examined. Our results indicate that there is a significant difference between the galactosyltransferase activities of rheumatoid and control peripheral B lymphocytes and that EBV transformation causes a variable increase (15-1225%) in galactosyltransferase activity, over that present in the peripheral B lymphocytes from which the transformed cells were derived. Also the ubiquitous "lactose synthetase" type galactosyltransferase (EC 2.4.1.38) will galactosylate normal native IgG at concentrations of 500 mU/ml in vitro. We conclude that there is no evidence from our study for an IgG specific galactosyltransferase and that galactosyltransferase is an enzyme that is aberrantly modulated in peripheral B lymphocytes and EBV transformed B lymphoblasts derived from patients with RA.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Rheumatol

Publication Date

08/1993

Volume

20

Pages

1282 - 1287

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, B-Lymphocytes, Cell Transformation, Viral, Female, Galactose, Galactosyltransferases, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Male, Middle Aged, Reference Values, Stem Cells