Genetic Interactions Between Drosophila sialyltransferase and 1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-A Genes Indicate Their Involvement in the Same Pathway.
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Sialylated glycans play a prominent role in the Drosophila nervous system where they are involved in the regulation of neural transmission. However, the functional pathway of sialylation in invertebrates, including Drosophila, remains largely unknown. Here we used a combination of genetic and behavioral approaches to shed light on the Drosophila sialylation pathway. We examined genetic interactions between Drosophila sialyltransferase (DSiaT) and 1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (4GalNAcT) genes. Our results indicated that 4GalNAcTA and DSiaT cooperate within the same functional pathway that regulates neural transmission. We found that 4GalNAcTA is epistatic to DSiaT. Our data suggest an intriguing possibility that 4GalNAcTA may participate in the biosynthesis of sialylated glycans.