Cell surface glycosylation patterns are markers of cell type and status. However, the mechanisms regulating surface glycosylation patterns remain unknown. Using a panel of carbohydrate markers, we have shown that cell surface sialylation and fucosylation are upregulated in L1-transfected embryonic stem cells (L1-ESCs). Consistently, the mRNA levels of sialyltransferase ST6Gal1 and ST3Gal4, and fucosyltransferase FUT9 were significantly increased in L1-transfected ESCs. Activation of L1 signaling promoted cell survival and inhibited cell proliferation. ShRNAs knocking down FUT9, ST6Gal1 and ST3Gal4 blocked these effects. A phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma) inhibitor and shRNA reduced ST6Gal1, ST3Gal4 and FUT9 mRNA levels in the L1-ESCs. Thus, embryonic stem cell surface sialylation and fucosylation are regulated via PLCgamma by L1, with which they cooperate to modulate cell survival and proliferation.