Collagen is modified by hydroxylation and glycosylation of hydroxylysine residues. This glycosylation is initiated by the β1,O galactosyltransferases GLT25D1 and GLT25D2. The structurally similar protein cerebral endothelial cell adhesion molecule CEECAM1 was previously reported to be inactive when assayed for collagen glycosyltransferase activity. To address the cause of the absent galactosyltransferase activity, we have generated several chimeric constructs between the active human GLT25D1 and inactive human CEECAM1 proteins. The assay of these chimeric constructs pointed to a short central region and a large C-terminal region of CEECAM1 leading to the loss of collagen galactosyltransferase activity. Examination of the three DXD motifs of the active GLT25D1 by site-directed mutagenesis confirmed the importance of the first (amino acids 166-168) and second motif (amino acids 461-463) for enzymatic activity, whereas the third one was dispensable. Since the second DXD motif is incomplete in CEECAM1, we have restored the motif by introducing the substitution S461D. This change did not restore the activity of the C-terminal region, thereby showing that additional amino acids were required in this C-terminal region to confer enzymatic activity. Finally, we have introduced the substitution Q471R-V472M-N473Q-P474V in the CEECAM1-C-terminal construct, which is found in most animal GLT25D1 and GLT25D2 isoforms but not in CEECAM1. This substitution was shown to partially restore collagen galactosyltransferase activity, underlining its importance for catalytic activity in the C-terminal domain. Because multiple mutations in different regions of CEECAM1 contribute to the lack of galactosyltransferase activity, we deduced that CEECAM1 is functionally different from the related GLT25D1 protein.