From 61 to 92% of the total sialic acid of a variety of human lymphoid cell lines maintained in tissue culture is present on the cell surface as measured by its susceptibility to cleavage by Clostridium perfringens neuraminidase. These cells contain from 1.22 x 108 to 6.99 x 108 molecules of surface sialic acid per cell. In synchronized cultures synthesis of surface sialic acid occurs only during a limited time in the late G2 phase of the cell cycle. The amount and density of surface sialic acid vary considerably throughout the cell cycle.
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