The Lewis histo-blood group system comprises a set of fucosylated glycosphingolipids that are synthesized by exocrine epithelial cells and circulate in body fluids. The glycosphingolipids function in embryogenesis, tissue differentiation, tumor metastasis, inflammation, and bacterial adhesion. They are secondarily absorbed to red blood cells giving rise to their Lewis phenotype. This gene is a member of the fucosyltransferase family, which catalyzes the addition of fucose to precursor polysaccharides in the last step of Lewis antigen biosynthesis. It encodes an enzyme with alpha(1,3)-fucosyltransferase and alpha(1,4)-fucosyltransferase activities. Lewis blood group antigens are carbohydrate moieties structurally integrated in mucous secretions. Lewis antigen system alterations have been described in gastric carcinoma and associated lesions. Anomalous expression of Lewis B antigen has been found in some non-secretory gastric carcinomas and colorectal cancers.
Richman, P.I. et al. 1987. Monoclonal antibodies to human colorectal epithelium: markers for differentiation and tumour characterization. Int. J. Cancer. 39: 317-328. Rouger, P.h., et al, eds. 1987. Proceedings of the first international work- shop on monoclonal antibodies against human red blood cells and related antigens (Paris, 1987). Blood Transfusion Immunohaematology 30: 353- 720. Bara, J. et al. 1988. Immunochemical characterization of mucins. Polypeptide (M1) and polysaccharide (A and Leb) antigens. Biochem. J. 254: 185-193. Torrado J, Correa P, Ruiz B, Bernardi P, Zavala D, Bara J. Lewis antigen alterations in gastric cancer precursors. Gastroenterology. 1992 Feb;102(2):424-30.Creuzot-Garcher C, Guerzider V, Assem M, Bron AM, Delannoy P, Bara. Alteration of sialyl Lewis epitope expression in pterygium. J.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1999 Jul;40(8):1631
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