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Induction of neuron-specific glycosylation by Tollo/Toll-8, a Drosophila Toll-like receptor expressed in non-neural cells
Mary Sharrow, and
Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New
Haven, CT 06510, USA
Author for correspondence (e-mail:
Accepted for publication 16 December 2002.
Specific glycan expression is an essential characteristic ofdeveloping
tissues. Our molecular characterization of a mutationthat abolishes
neural-specific glycosylation in the Drosophilaembryo demonstrates
that cellular interactions influence glycanexpression. The HRP epitope is an
N-linked oligosaccharide expressedon a subset of neuronal glycoproteins.
Embryos homozygous forthe TM3 balancer chromosome lack neural HRP-epitope
expression.Genetic and molecular mapping of the relevant locus revealsthat
Tollo/Toll-8, a member of the Toll-like receptor family,is altered on the TM3
chromosome. In wild-type embryos, Tollo/Toll-8is expressed by ectodermal
cells that surround differentiatingneurons and precedes HRP-epitope
appearance. Re-introductionof Tollo/Toll-8 into null embryos rescues
neural-specific glycanexpression. Thus, loss of an ectodermal cell surface
proteinalters glycosylation in juxtaposed differentiating neurons.The
portfolio of expressed oligosaccharides in a cell reflectsits identity and
also influences its interactions with othercells and with pathogens.
Therefore, the ability to induce specificglycan expression complements the
previously identified developmentaland innate immune functions of Toll-like