Author(s): Smith TN, Oppenheimer SB
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Abstract The sea urchin embryo is a National Institutes of Health model system that has provided major developments, and is important in human health and disease. To obtain initial insights to identify glycans that mediate cellular interactions, Lytechinus pictus sea urchin embryos were incubated at 24 or 30 h post-fertilization with 0.0009-0.03 M alpha-cyclodextrin, melibiose, L(-)-rhamnose, trehalose, D(+)-xylose or L(-)-xylose in lower-calcium artificial sea water (pH 8.0, 15°C), which speeds the entry of molecules into the interior of the embryos. While α-cyclodextrin killed the embryos, and L(-)-xylose had small effects at one concentration tested, L(-)-rhamnose caused substantially increased numbers of unattached archenterons and exogastrulated embryos at low glycan concentrations after 18-24 h incubation with the sugar. The results were statistically significant compared with the control embryos in the absence of sugar (P < 0.05). The other sugars (melibiose, trehalose, D(+)-xylose) had no statistically significant effects whatsoever at any of the concentrations tested. In total, in the current study, 39,369 embryos were examined. This study is the first demonstration that uses a live embryo assay for a likely role for L(-)-rhamnose in sea urchin gastrula cellular interactions, which have interested investigators for over a century.
This article was published in Zygote
and referenced in Journal of Glycobiology