1989 Volume 14 Issue 1 Pages 87-93
It has been shown that in PC12 and its subclone PC12h treatment of the cells with nerve growth factor (NGF) induces a selective decrease in the incorporation of radioactive phosphate into a 100, 000-dalton protein, designated in an earlier study as Nsp 100, in the subsequent phosphorylation of soluble extracts from cells with (γ-32P)ATP. In the present study, we show that plant lectins, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), concanavalin A (Con A), and lens culinaris agglutinin (LCA), inhibit the action of NGF on Nsp 100 phosphorylation in PC12h cells. Treatment of the cells with WGA, which binds to N-acetylglucosamine and sialic acid residues on glycoproteins, strongly blocked the inhibitory action of NGF on the protein phosphorylation. Con A and LCA, both of which recognize the same specific sugars (mannose, glucose), displayed only a moderate blocking effect. Unlike the native lectin, succinylated WGA, which has the ability to bind to N-acetylglucosamine but not to sialic acid residues, and other lectins examined in this study did not inhibit the action of NGF on Nsp 100. WGA-mediated inhibition of NGF action was reversed by the addition of N-acetylglucosamine and by the addition of a much lower concentration of a sialoglycoprotein, mucin, into the culture. Since the binding of succinylated WGA to N-acetylglucosamine residues of cell-surface glycoconjugates is not sufficient to prevent the action of NGF, WGA might act on sialic acid residues of the NGF receptor molecule to effect the inhibition of biological ac-tions of NGF.