Neural retinal cells from 9-d-old chick embryos were assayed for uridine diphosphate (UDP)-galactose:ganglioside GM2 galactosyltransferase, or GM1 synthetase, activity using the oligosaccharide fragment of GM2, oligo-GM2, oligo-GM2, as the exogenous acceptor. The results demonstrated that this enzyme activity was present on the external surfaces of intact cells. Little difference between the specific activities of cell surface GM1 synthetase could be detected when cells derived from dorsal and ventral segments of the neural retina were compared. These results suggested that this cell-surface enzyme was not present in a concentration gradient along the dorsoventral axis of the neural retina.

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