The asialoglycoprotein receptor clears glycoconjugates terminating with sialic acidα2,6GalNAc

Eric I. Park, Yiling Mi, Carlo Unverzagt, Hans Joachim Gabius, Jacques U. Baenziger

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Endogenous ligands have not, to date, been identified for the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R), which is abundantly expressed by parenchymal cells in the liver of mammals. On the basis of the rapid clearance of BSA bearing multiple chemically coupled sialic acid (Sia)α2, 6GalNAcβ1,4GlcNAcβ1,2Man tetrasaccharides (SiaGGnM-BSA) from the circulation, and the ability of the ASGP-R hepatic lectin-1 subunit to bind SiaGGnM-BSA, we previously proposed that glycoproteins modified with structures terminating with Siaα2,6GalNAc may represent previously unrecognized examples of endogenous ligands for this receptor. Here, we have taken a genetic approach using wild-type and ASGP-R-deficient mice to determine that the ASGP-R in vivo does indeed account for the rapid clearance of glycoconjugates terminating with Siaα2,6GalNAc. We have also determined that the ASGP-R is able to bind core-substituted oligosaccharides with the terminal sequence Siaα2,6Galβ1,4GlcNAc but not those with the terminal Siaα2,3Galβ1,4GlcNAc. We propose that glycoproteins bearing terminals Siaα2,6GalNAc and Siaα2,6Gal are endogenous ligands for the ASGP-R, and that the ASGP-R helps to regulate the relative concentration of serum glycoproteins bearing α2,6-linked Sia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17125-17129
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 22 2005


  • Clearance
  • Galactose
  • Hepatic lectin
  • N-acetylgalactosamine
  • Serum glycoproteins


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