Flagella, intact deflagellated cells and isolated cell surfaces of the unicell , Euglena were separately assayed for glycosyltransferase activity by incubating these fractions with uridine diphosphate-[3H]glucose and isolating radiolabeled products. Most of the label was incorporated into lipophilic products, soluble in chloroform/methanol, which could be separated via thin layer chromatography or LH-60 chromatography into four distinct classes. The most polar of these products was extracted from flagella and purified by column chromatography for use as an in vitro substrate to identify flagella-associated glycosyltransferases. After flagella were treated with the detergent CHAPS , a soluble fraction was removed that was capable of glycosylation in solution. The glycosyltransferase(s) responsible for this activity were further enriched on sucrose or fructose gradients and ultimately identified on acrylamide gels through the combined use of nondenaturing gels, dial-[3H]uridine diphosphate binding, and fluorography. The enzyme had an apparent monomer molecular weight of 32,000 and consisted of four or fewer subunits. The occurrence of endogenous glycosyltransferase(s) in flagella suggests that modifications and/or assembly of the flagella surface can take place in situ in this organism.

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