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1.  Structure and Activity of a New Low Molecular Weight Heparin Produced by Enzymatic Ultrafiltration 
Journal of pharmaceutical sciences  2014;103(5):1375-1383.
The standard process for preparing the low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) tinzaparin, through the partial enzymatic depolymerization of heparin, results in a reduced yield due to the formation of a high content of undesired disaccharides and tetrasaccharides. An enzymatic ultrafiltration reactor for LMWH preparation was developed to overcome this problem. The behavior, of the heparin oligosaccharides and polysaccharides using various membranes and conditions, was investigated to optimize this reactor. A novel product, LMWH-II, was produced from the controlled depolymerization of heparin using heparin lyase II in this optimized ultrafiltration reactor. Enzymatic ultrafiltration provides easy control and high yields (>80%) of LMWH-II. The molecular weight properties of LMWH-II were similar to other commercial LMWHs. The structure of LMWH-II closely matched heparin’s core structural features. Most of the common process artifacts, present in many commercial LWMHs, were eliminated as demonstrated by 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The antithrombin III and platelet factor-4 binding affinity of LMWH-II were comparable to commercial LMWHs, as was its in vitro anticoagulant activity.
PMCID: PMC3998821  PMID: 24634007
Low molecular weight heparin; heparin lyase; ultrafiltration; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; surface plasmon resonance; anticoagulant; anti-Xa; anti-IIa
2.  Carbohydrate-Containing Molecules as Potential Biomarkers in Colon Cancer 
Glycans play a critical role in physiological and pathological processes through interaction with a variety of ligands. Altered expression and dysregulation of these molecules can cause aberrant cellular function such as malignancy. Glycomics provide information of the structure and function of glycans, glycolipids, and glycoproteins such as proteoglycans, and may help to predict cancer development and progression as biomarkers. In this report, we compared the expression of proteoglycans, the content and structure of glycosaminoglycans and glycolipids between patient-matched normal and cancer tissues obtained from colon cancer patients. Tumor-related proteoglycans, glypican-3, and syndecan-1 showed downregulation in cancer tissues compared to normal tissues. In cancer tissue, the total amount of chondroitin sulfate (CS)/dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate were lower and, interestingly, the level of disaccharide units of both 4S6S (CS-E) and 6S (CS-C) were higher compared to normal tissue. Also, overall lipids including glycolipids, a major glycomics target, were analyzed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Increase of lyso-phosphatidylcholine (phospholipid), sphingomyelin (sphigolipid), and four types of glycolipids (glucosylceramide, lactosylceramide, monosialic acid ganglioside, and globoside 4) in cancer tissue showed the possibility as potential biomarkers in colon cancer. While requiring the need for careful interpretation, this type of broad investigation gives us a better understanding of pathophysiological roles on glycosaminoglycans and glycolipids and might be a powerful tool for colon cancer diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3976574  PMID: 24502776
3.  Assays for determining heparan sulfate and heparin O-sulfotransferase activity and specificity 
O-sulfotransferases (OSTs) are critical enzymes in the cellular biosynthesis of the biologically and pharmacologically important heparan sulfate and heparin. Recently, these enzymes have been cloned and expressed in bacteria for application in the chemoenzymatic synthesis of glycosaminoglycan-based drugs. OST activity assays have largely relied on the use of radioisotopic methods using [35S] 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate and scintillation counting. Herein, we examine alternative assays that are more compatible with a biomanufacturing environment. A high throughput microtiter-based approach is reported that relies on a coupled bienzymic colorimetric assay for heparan sulfate and heparin OSTs acting on polysaccharide substrates using arylsulfotransferase-IV and p-nitrophenylsulfate as a sacrificial sulfogroup donor. A second liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric assay, for heparan sulfate and heparin OSTs acting on structurally defined oligosaccharide substrates, is also reported that provides additional information on the number and positions of the transferred sulfo groups within the product. Together, these assays allow quantitative and mechanistic information to be obtained on OSTs that act on heparan sulfate and heparin precursors.
PMCID: PMC3901155  PMID: 24271188
enzymes; mass spectrometry; bioassays; sulfotransferases; coupled assay; heparin; heparan sulfate
4.  Microanalysis of stomach cancer glycosaminoglycans 
Glycoconjugate journal  2013;30(7):701-707.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) are anionic, linear, polysaccharides involved in cell signaling. The GAG content, composition and structure of human tissue have been suggested to play a role in cancer and might provide useful diagnostic or prognostic markers. The current study examines 17 stomach tissue biopsy samples taken from normal individuals and from patients with gastric cancers. An ultrasensitive liquid chromatography (LC) – mass spectrometry assay was applied to individual biopsy samples as small 250 µg providing GAG content and disaccharide composition. The results of these analyses show a significant increase in non-sulfated chondroitin/dermatan sulfate concentration in all cancer samples when compared to normal tissues. In addition in advanced gastric cancer, a significant decrease is observed in hyaluronan.
PMCID: PMC3769488  PMID: 23604988
Stomach cancer; Glycosaminoglycan; Chondroitin sulfate; Hyaluronan; Disaccharide analysis
5.  N-sulfotestosteronan, a novel substrate for heparan sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferases and its analysis by oxidative degradation 
Biopolymers  2013;99(10):10.1002/bip.22263.
Testosteronan, an unusual glycosaminoglycan first isolated from the microbe Comamonas testosteroni, was enzymatically synthesized in vitro by transferring uridine diphosphate sugars on β-p-nitrophenyl glucuronide acceptor. After chemically converting testosteronan to N-sulfotestosteronan it was tested as a substrate for sulfotransferases involved in the biosynthesis of the glycosaminoglycan, heparan sulfate. Studies using 35S-labeled 3′-phosphodenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS) showed that only 6-O-sulfotransferases acted on N-sulfotestosteronan. An oxidative depolymerization reaction was explored to generate oligosaccharides from 34S-labeled 6-O-sulfo-N-sulfotestosteroran using 34S-labeled PAPS because testosteronan was resistant to all of the tested glycosaminoglycan-degrading enzymes. Liquid chromotography-mass spectrometric analysis of the oxidatively depolymerized polysaccharides confirmed the incorporation of 34S into ~14% of the glucosamine residues. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy also showed that the sulfo groups were transferred to ~20% of the 6-hydroxyl groups in the glucosamine residue of N-sulfotestosteronan. The bioactivity of 6-O–sulfo-N-sulfotestosteronan was examined by performing protein-binding studies with fibroblast growth factors and antithrombin III using a surface plasmon resonance competition assay. The introduction of 6-O-sulfo groups enhanced N-sulfotestosteronan binding to the fibroblast growth factors, but not to antithrombin III.
PMCID: PMC3819802  PMID: 23606289
bacterial polysaccharide; sulfotransferases; protein-binding; sulfonation; heparan sulfate
6.  Three Dimensional Cellular Microarray Platform for Human Neural Stem Cell Differentiation and Toxicology 
Stem cell research  2014;13(1):36-47.
We developed a three-dimensional (3D) cellular microarray platform for the high-throughput (HT) analysis of human neural stem cell (hNSC) growth and differentiation. The growth of an immortalized hNSC line, ReNcell VM, was evaluated on a miniaturized cell culture chip consisting of 60 nl spots of cells encapsulated in alginate, and compared to standard 2D well plate culture conditions. Using a live/dead cell viability assay, we demonstrated that the hNSCs are able to expand on-chip, albeit with lower proliferation rates and viabilities than in conventional 2D culture platforms. Using an in-cell, on-chip immunofluorescence assay, which provides quantitative information on cellular levels of proteins involved in neural fate, we demonstrated that ReNcell VM can preserve its multipotent state during on-chip expansion. Moreover, differentiation of the hNSCs into glial progeny was achieved both off- and on-chip six days after growth factor removal, accompanied by a decrease in the neural progenitor markers. The versatility of the platform was further demonstrated by complementing the cell culture chip with a chamber system that allowed us to screen for differential toxicity of small molecules to hNSCs. Using this approach, we showed differential toxicity when evaluating three neurotoxic compounds and one antiproliferative compound, and the null effect of a non-toxic compound at relevant concentrations. Thus, our 3D high-throughput microarray platform may help predict, in vitro, which compounds pose an increased threat to neural development and should therefore be prioritized for further screening and evaluation.
PMCID: PMC4090259  PMID: 24816401
human neural stem cells; microarray cell culture; high throughput screening; differentiation; toxicology
7.  Capillary electrophoresis for total glycosaminoglycan analysis 
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry  2014;406(19):4617-4626.
A capillary zone electrophoresis-laser induced fluorescence detection (CZE-LIF) method was developed for the simultaneous analysis of disaccharides derived from heparan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate, hyaluronan and keratan sulfate. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) were first depolymerized with the mixture of GAG lyases (heparinase I, II, III and chondroitinase ABC and chondroitinase AC II) and GAG endohydrolase (keratinase II) and the resulting disaccharides were derivatized by reductive amination with 2-aminoacridone. Nineteen fluorescently labeled disaccharides were separated using 50 mM phosphate buffer (pH 3.3) under reversed polarity at 25 kV. Using these conditions, all the disaccharides examined were baseline-separated in less then 25 min. This CZE-LIF method gave good reproducibility both migration time (≤ 1.03% for intra-day and ≤ 4.4% for inter-day) and the peak area values (≤ 5.6% for intra- and ≤ 8.69% for inter-day). This CZE-LIF method was used for profiling and quantification of GAG derivative disaccharides in bovine cornea. The results shows that the current CZE-LIF method offers fast, simple, sensitive, reproducible determination of disaccharides derived from total GAGs in a single run.
PMCID: PMC4097815  PMID: 24817364
Capillary electrophoresis; biopolymers; enzymes
8.  Masquerading microbial pathogens: Capsular polysaccharides mimic host-tissue molecules 
FEMS microbiology reviews  2014;38(4):660-697.
Bacterial pathogens bearing capsular polysaccharides identical to mammalian glycans benefit from an additional level of protection from host immune response.
The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria portends an impending post-antibiotic age, characterized by diminishing efficacy of common antibiotics and routine application of multifaceted, complementary therapeutic approaches to treat bacterial infections, particularly multidrug-resistant organisms. The first line of defense for most bacterial pathogens consists of a physical and immunological barrier known as the capsule, commonly composed of a viscous layer of carbohydrates that are covalently bound to the cell wall in Gram-positive bacteria or often to lipids of the outer membrane in many Gram-negative bacteria. Bacterial capsular polysaccharides are a diverse class of high molecular weight polysaccharides contributing to virulence of many human pathogens in the gut, respiratory tree, urinary tract, and other host tissues, by hiding cell-surface components that might otherwise elicit host immune response. This review highlights capsular polysaccharides that are structurally identical or similar to polysaccharides found in mammalian tissues, including polysialic acid and glycosaminoglycan capsules hyaluronan, heparosan, and chondroitin. Such non-immunogenic coatings render pathogens insensitive to certain immune responses, effectively increasing residence time in host tissues and enabling pathologically relevant population densities to be reached. Biosynthetic pathways and capsular involvement in immune system evasion are described providing a basis for potential therapies aimed at supplementing or replacing antibiotic treatment.
PMCID: PMC4120193  PMID: 24372337
capsular polysaccharides; glycosaminoglycans; polysialic acid; bacterial pathogens; immune system evasion; combating antibiotic resistance
9.  Complete Mass Spectral Characterization of a Synthetic Ultralow Molecular Weight Heparin using Collision Induced Dissociation 
Analytical chemistry  2012;84(13):5475-5478.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a class of biologically important molecules and their structural analysis is the target of considerable research effort. Advances in tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) have recently enabled the structural characterization of several classes of GAGs. However, the highly sulfated GAGs, such as heparins, have remained a relatively intractable class due their tendency to lose SO3 during MS/MS producing few sequence-informative fragment ions. The present work demonstrates for the first time the complete structural characterization of the highly sulfated heparin-based drug, Arixtra. This was achieved by Na+/H+ exchange, to create a more ionized species that was stable against SO3 loss, and that produced complete sets of both glycosidic and cross-ring fragment ions. MS/MS, enabling the complete structural determination of Arixtra®, including the stereochemistry of its uronic acid residues and suggests an approach for solving the structure of more complex, highly sulfated heparin-based drugs.
PMCID: PMC4477280  PMID: 22715938
10.  Analysis of 3-O-sulfo group containing heparin tetrasaccharides in heparin by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry 
Analytical biochemistry  2014;455:3-9.
Complete heparin digestion with heparin lyase 2 affords a mixture of disaccharides and resistant tetra-saccharides with 3-O-sulfo group containing glucosamine residues at their reducing ends. Quantitative on-line liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis of these resistant tetrasaccharides is described. The disaccharide and tetrasaccharide composition of seven porcine intestinal heparins and five low molecular weight heparins were analyzed by this method. These resistant tetrasaccharides account for from 5.3 to 7.3 wt% of heparin and from 6.2 to 8.3 wt% of low molecular weight heparin. Since these tetrasaccharides are derived from heparin’s antithrombin III-binding sites, we examined whether this method could be applied to estimate the anticoagulant activity of heparin. The content of 3-O-sulfo group containing tetrasaccharides in a heparin positively correlated (r = 0.8294) to heparin’s anticoagulant activity.
PMCID: PMC4030551  PMID: 24680753
3-O-sulfo group; tetrasaccharides; porcine intestinal heparin; anticoagulant activity; RPIP-LC-MS; heparin lyase 2
11.  In vivo antithrombotic synergy of oral heparin and arginine: Endothelial thromboresistance without changes in coagulation parameters 
Thrombosis and haemostasis  2006;95(5):865-872.
On the basis of suggested clinical efficacy in an uncontrolled study in ninety-seven patients with unstable angina, an animal study was conducted to investigate antithrombotic synergy between orally administered heparin and arginine. A rat venous thrombosis model tested the difference in thrombus formation when heparin (7.5 mg/kg) and arginine (113 mg/kg) were administered, alone or in combination, by stomach tube with a minimum of 20 rats/group. Oral heparin, arginine, and heparin plus arginine reduced thrombus formation by 50%, 75%, and 90%, respectively, when compared to saline administration. Heparin was recovered from endothelium, yet there was little or no observable plasma anticoagulant activity. An orally administered low-molecular- weight anticoagulant glycosaminoglycan mixture, sulodexide (7.5 mg/kg), showed an 88% reduction in stable thrombus formation when administered alone but showed no synergy with oral arginine. A 28-day study with oral sulodexide (2.9 mg/ kg) and arginine (43.9 mg/kg), 20 rats/group, showed antithrombotic activity with minimal anticoagulant activity indicating suitability for long term treatment. These findings suggest the endothelial localization of heparin and a synergistic antithrombotic effect for orally administered heparin and arginine.
PMCID: PMC4140560  PMID: 16676079
Heparin; thrombosis; endothelium; arginine; oral
12.  Enzymatic Synthesis of Glycosaminoglycan Heparin 
Heparin and its low molecular weight heparin derivatives, widely used as clinical anticoagulants, are acidic polysaccharide members of a family of biomacromolecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Heparin and the related heparan sulfate are biosynthesized in the Golgi apparatus of eukaryotic cells. Heparin is a polycomponent drug that currently is prepared for clinical use by extraction from animal tissues. A heparin pentasaccharide, fondaparinux, has also been prepared through chemical synthesis for use as a homogenous anticoagulant drug. Recent enabling technologies suggest that it may now be possible to synthesize heparin and its derivatives enzymatically. Moreover, new technologies including advances in synthetic carbohydrate synthesis, enzyme-based GAG synthesis, micro- and nano-display of GAGs, rapid on-line structural analysis, and microarray/microfluidic technologies might be applied to the enzymatic synthesis of heparins with defined structures and exhibiting selected activities. The advent of these new technologies also makes it possible to consider the construction of an artificial Golgi to increase our understanding of the cellular control of GAG biosyntheses in this organelle.
PMCID: PMC4140616  PMID: 17629842
Heparin; enzymes; biosynthesis; Golgi; microfluidics
13.  Bottom-Up Low Molecular Weight Heparin Analysis Using Liquid Chromatography-Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry for Extensive Characterization 
Analytical Chemistry  2014;86(13):6626-6632.
Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are heterogeneous, polydisperse, and highly negatively charged mixtures of glycosaminoglycan chains prescribed as anticoagulants. The detailed characterization of LMWH is important for the drug quality assurance and for new drug research and development. In this study, online hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) was applied to analyze the oligosaccharide fragments of LMWHs generated by heparin lyase II digestion. More than 40 oligosaccharide fragments of LMWH were quantified and used to compare LMWHs prepared by three different manufacturers. The quantified fragment structures included unsaturated disaccharides/oligosaccharides arising from the prominent repeating units of these LMWHs, 3-O-sulfo containing tetrasaccharides arising from their antithrombin III binding sites, 1,6-anhydro ring-containing oligosaccharides formed during their manufacture, saturated uronic acid oligosaccharides coming from some chain nonreducing ends, and oxidized linkage region oligosaccharides coming from some chain reducing ends. This bottom-up approach provides rich detailed structural analysis and quantitative information with high accuracy and reproducibility. When combined with the top-down approach, HILIC LC-FTMS based analysis should be suitable for the advanced quality control and quality assurance in LMWH production.
PMCID: PMC4082394  PMID: 24905078
14.  Changes in glycosaminoglycan structure on differentiation of human embryonic stem cells towards mesoderm and endoderm lineages 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2014;1840(6):1993-2003.
Proteoglycans are found on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix, and serve as prime sites for interaction with signaling molecules. Proteoglycans help regulate pathways that control stem cell fate, and therefore represent an excellent tool to manipulate these pathways. Despite their importance, there is a dearth of data linking glycosaminoglycan structure within proteoglycans with stem cell differentiation.
Human embryonic stem cell line WA09 (H9) was differentiated into early mesoderm and endoderm lineages, and the glycosaminoglycanomic changes accompanying these transitions were studied using transcript analysis, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence and disaccharide analysis.
Pluripotent H9 cell lumican had no glycosaminoglycan chains whereas in splanchnic mesoderm lumican was glycosaminoglycanated. H9 cells have primarily non-sulfated heparan sulfate chains. On differentiation towards splanchnic mesoderm and hepatic lineages N-sulfo group content increases. Differences in transcript expression of NDST1, HS6ST2 and HS6ST3, three heparan sulfate biosynthetic enzymes, within splanchnic mesoderm cells compared to H9 cells correlate to changes in glycosaminoglycan structure.
Differentiation of embryonic stem cells markedly change the proteoglycanome
General Significance
The glycosaminoglycan biosynthetic pathway is complex and highly regulated, and therefore, understanding the details of this pathway should enable better control with the aim of directing stem cell differentiation.
PMCID: PMC4004645  PMID: 24412195
glycosaminoglycans; proteoglycans; embryonic; stem cells; splanchnic mesoderm; hepatocytes
15.  Heparin-Binding Domains in Vascular Biology 
Heparin is a major anticoagulant with activity mediated primarily through its interaction with antithrombin (AT). Heparan sulfate (HS), structurally related to heparin, binds a wide range of proteins of different functionality, taking part in various physiological and pathological processes. The heparin–AT complex, the most well understood facet of anticoagulation, serves as a prototypical example of the important role of heparin/HS in vascular biology. Extensive studies have identified common structural features in heparin/HS–binding sites of proteins. These include the elucidation of consensus sequences in proteins, patterns of clusters of basic and nonbasic residues, and common spatial arrangements of basic amino acids in the heparin-binding sites. Although these studies have provided valuable information, heparin/HS–binding proteins differ widely in structure. The prediction of heparin/HS–binding proteins from sequence information is not currently possible, and elucidation of protein-binding sites requires the individual study of each glycosaminoglycan–protein complex. Thus, x-ray crystallography and site-directed mutagenesis experiments are among the most powerful tools, providing accurate structural information, facilitating the characterization of heparin–protein complexes.
PMCID: PMC4114236  PMID: 15231514
heparin-binding domains; glycosaminoglycan; basic amino acids; consensus sequence; antithrombin
Glycoconjugate journal  2012;30(5):497-510.
Pluripotent and multipotent cells become increasingly lineage restricted through differentiation. Alterations to the cellular proteoglycan composition and structure should accompany these changes to influence cell proliferation, delineation of tissues and acquisition of cell migration capabilities. Retinoic acid plays an important role in pre-patterning of the early embryo. Retinoic acid can be used in vitro to induce differentiation, causing pluripotent and multipotent cells to become increasingly lineage restricted. We examined retinoic acid-induced changes in the cellular proteoglycan composition of the well-characterized teratocarcinoma line NCCIT. Our analysis revealed changes in the abundance of transcripts for genes encoding core proteins, enzymes that are responsible for early and late linkage region biosynthesis, as well as enzymes for GAG chain extension and modification. Transcript levels for genes encoding core proteins used as backbones for polysaccharide synthesis revealed highly significant increases in expression of lumican and decorin, 1500-fold and 2800-fold, respectively. Similarly, glypican 3, glypican 5, versican and glypican 6 showed increases between 5 and 70-fold. Significant decreases in biglycan, serglycin, glypican 4, aggrecan, neurocan, CD74 and glypican 1 were observed. Disaccharide analysis of the glycans in heparin/heparan sulfate and chondroitin/dermatan sulfate revealed retinoic acid-induced changes restricted to chondroitin/dermatan sulfate glycans. Our study provides the first detailed analysis of changes in the glycosaminoglycan profile of human pluripotent cells upon treatment with the retinoic acid morphogen.
PMCID: PMC3556377  PMID: 23053635
glycomics; teratocarcinoma; pluriotent; glycosaminoglycans
17.  Probing the impact of GFP tagging on Robo1-heparin interaction 
Glycoconjugate journal  2014;31(4):299-307.
Green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) and their derivatives are widely used as markers to visualize cells, protein localizations in in vitro and in vivo studies. The use of GFP fusion protein for visualization is generally thought to have negligible effects on cellular function. However, a number of reports suggest that the use of GFP may impact the biological activity of these proteins. Heparin is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that interacts with a number of proteins mediating diverse patho-physiological processes. In the heparin-based interactome studies, heparin-binding proteins are often prepared as GFP fusion proteins. In this report, we use surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy to study the impact of the GFP tagging on the binding interaction between heparin and a heparin-binding protein, the Roundabout homolog 1 (Robo1). SPR reveals that heparin binds with higher affinity to Robo1 than GFP-tagged Robo1 and through a different kinetic mechanism. A conformational change is observed in the heparin-Robo1 interaction, but not in the heparin-Robo1-GFP interaction. Furthermore the GFP-tagged Robo1 requires a shorter (hexasaccharide) than the tag-free Robo1 (octadecasaccharide). These data demonstrate that GFP tagging can reduce the binding affinity of Robo1 to heparin and hinder heparin binding-induced Robo1 conformation change.
PMCID: PMC4118743  PMID: 24748467
heparin; Robo1; green fluorescent protein; interaction; surface plasmon resonance; fusion protein
18.  Heparinoids activate a protease, secreted by mucosa and tumors, via tethering supplemented by allostery 
ACS chemical biology  2014;9(4):957-966.
Activation by glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) is an emerging trend among extracellular proteases important in disease. ProMMP-7, the zymogen of a matrix metalloproteinase secreted by mucosal epithelial and tumor cells, is activated at their surfaces by sulfated GAGs, but how? ProMMP-7 is activated in trans by representative heparin oligosaccharides in a length-dependent manner, with a large jump in activation at lengths of 16 monosaccharides. Imaging by atomic force microscopy visualized small complexes of proMMP-7 molecules linked by 8-mer lengths of heparinoids and extended assembles formed with 16-mer lengths of heparin. Complexes of proMMP-7 with polydisperse heparin or heparan sulfate were more diverse. Heparinoids evidently accelerate activation by tethering multiple proMMP-7 molecules together for proteolytic attack among neighbors. Removal of either the prodomain or C-terminal peptide sequence of KRSNSRKK from MMP-7 prevents formation of the long arrays induced by heparin 16-mers or heparan sulfate. The role of the C-terminus in activation assays suggests it contributes to remote, allosteric binding of GAGs. Enhancement of proteolytic velocity of MMP-by GAGs indicates them to be effectors of V-type allostery. GAGs from proteoglycans appear to assemble proMMP-7 molecules for activation, an event preceding its tumorigenic or anti-bacterial proteolytic activities at cell surfaces.
PMCID: PMC4063349  PMID: 24495220
zymogen activation; glycosaminoglycans; protein-carbohydrate interactions; atomic force microscopy; allostery; enzyme kinetics
19.  Homogeneous low-molecular-weight heparins with reversible anticoagulant activity 
Nature chemical biology  2014;10(4):248-250.
Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) are carbohydrate-based anticoagulants clinically used to treat thrombotic disorders, but impurities, structural heterogeneity or functional irreversibility can limit treatment options. We report a series of synthetic LMWHs prepared by cost-effective chemoenzymatic methods. The high activity of one defined synthetic LMWH against human factor Xa (FXa) was reversible in vitro and in vivo using protamine, demonstrating that synthetically accessible constructs can have a critical role in the next generation of LMWHs.
PMCID: PMC4393012  PMID: 24561662
20.  Fluorous-Assisted Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Heparan Sulfate Oligosaccharides 
Organic Letters  2014;16(8):2240-2243.
The chemoenzymatic synthesis of heparan sulfate tetrasaccharide (1) and hexasaccharide (2) with a fluorous tag attached at the reducing end is reported. The fluorous tert-butyl dicarbonate (FBoc) tag did not interfere with enzymatic recognition for both elongation and specific sulfation, and flash purification was performed by standard fluorous solid-phase extraction (FSPE). Based on an FBoc attached disaccharide as acceptor, a series of partial N-sulfated, 6-O-sulfated heparan sulfate oligosaccharides were successfully synthesized employing fluorous techniques.
PMCID: PMC3998769  PMID: 24697306
21.  Composition of Glycosaminoglycans in Elasmobranchs including Several Deep-Sea Sharks: Identification of Chondroitin/Dermatan Sulfate from the Dried Fins of Isurus oxyrinchus and Prionace glauca 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0120860.
Shark fin, used as a food, is a rich source of glycosaminoglyans (GAGs), acidic polysaccharides having important biological activities, suggesting their nutraceutical and pharmaceutical application. A comprehensive survey of GAGs derived from the fin was performed on 11 elasmobranchs, including several deep sea sharks. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) were found in Isurus oxyrinchus, Prionace glauca, Scyliorhinus torazame, Deania calcea, Chlamydoselachus anguineus, Mitsukurina owatoni, Mustelus griseus and Dasyatis akajei, respectively. CS was only found from Chimaera phantasma, Dalatias licha, and Odontaspis ferox, respectively. Characteristic disaccharide units of most of the CS were comprised of C- and D-type units. Interestingly, substantial amount of CS/dermatan sulfate (DS) was found in the dried fin (without skin and cartilage) of Isurus oxyrinchus and Prionace glauca. 1H-NMR analysis showed that the composition of glucuronic acid (GlcA) and iduronic acid (IdoA) in shark CS/DS was 41.2% and 58.8% (Isurus oxyrinchus), 36.1% and 63.9% (Prionace glauca), respectively. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of this CS/DS consisted of E-, B- and D-type units. Shark CS/DS stimulated neurite outgrowth of hippocampal neurons at a similar level as DS derived from invertebrate species. Midkine and pleiotrophin interact strongly with CS/DS from Isurus oxyrinchus and Prionace glauca, affording Kd values of 1.07 nM, 6.25 nM and 1.70 nM, 1.88 nM, respectively. These results strongly suggest that the IdoA-rich domain of CS/DS is required for neurite outgrowth activity. A detailed examination of oligosaccharide residues, produced by chondroitinase ACII digestion, suggested that the IdoA and B-type units as well as A- and C-type units were found in clusters in shark CS/DS. In addition, it was discovered that the contents of B-type units in these IdoA-rich domain increased in a length dependent manner, while C- and D-type units were located particularly in the immediate vicinity of the IdoA-rich domain.
PMCID: PMC4372294  PMID: 25803296
22.  Bioengineering murine mastocytoma cells to produce anticoagulant heparin 
Glycobiology  2013;24(3):272-280.
Heparin (HP), an important anticoagulant polysaccharide, is produced in a complex biosynthetic pathway in connective tissue-type mast cells. Both the structure and size of HP are critical factors determining the anticoagulation activity. A murine mastocytoma (MST) cell line was used as a model system to gain insight into this pathway. As reported, MST cells produce a highly sulfated HP-like polysaccharide that lacks anticoagulant activity (Montgomery RI, Lidholt K, Flay NW, Liang J, Vertel B, Lindahl U, Esko JD. 1992. Stable heparin-producing cell lines derived from the Furth murine mastocytoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89:11327–11331). Here, we show that transfection of MST cells with a retroviral vector containing heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase-1 (Hs3st1) restores anticoagulant activity. The MST lines express N-acetylglucosamine N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-1, uronosyl 2-O-sulfotransferase and glucosaminyl 6-O-sulfotransferase-1, which are sufficient to make the highly sulfated HP. Overexpression of Hs3st1 in MST-10H cells resulted in a change in the composition of heparan sulfate (HS)/HP and CS/dermatan sulfate (DS) glycosaminoglycans. The cell-associated HS/HP closely resembles HP with 3-O-sulfo group-containing glucosamine residues and shows anticoagulant activity. This study contributes toward a better understanding of the HP biosynthetic pathway with the goal of providing tools to better control the biosynthesis of HP chains with different structures and activities.
PMCID: PMC3919470  PMID: 24326668
heparan sulfate; heparin; mastocytoma;  proteoglycan; sulfotransferase
23.  Microarray platform affords improved product analysis in mammalian cell growth studies 
Biotechnology journal  2013;9(3):386-395.
High throughput (HT) platforms serve as cost-efficient and rapid screening method for evaluating the effect of cell culture conditions and screening of chemicals. The aim of the current study was to develop a high-throughput cell-based microarray platform to assess the effect of culture conditions on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Specifically, growth, transgene expression and metabolism of a GS/MSX CHO cell line, which produces a therapeutic monoclonal antibody, was examined using microarray system in conjunction with conventional shake flask platform in a non-proprietary medium. The microarray system consists of 60 nl spots of cells encapsulated in alginate and separated in groups via an 8-well chamber system attached to the chip. Results show the non-proprietary medium developed allows cell growth, production and normal glycosylation of recombinant antibody and metabolism of the recombinant CHO cells in both the microarray and shake flask platforms. In addition, 10.3 mM glutamate addition to the defined base media results in lactate metabolism shift in the recombinant GS/MSX CHO cells in the shake flask platform. Ultimately, the results demonstrate that the high-throughput microarray platform has the potential to be utilized for evaluating the impact of media additives on cellular processes, such as, cell growth, metabolism and productivity.
PMCID: PMC4129516  PMID: 24227746
cell-based microarray; high through-put; CHO cells; media optimization; 3D cell culture
24.  High Sensitivity Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin by Glyco-Quantitative Polymerase Chain-Reaction 
Analytical Chemistry  2014;86(5):2279-2284.
The sensitive detection of highly toxic botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) from Clostridium botulinum is of critical importance because it causes human illnesses if foodborne or introduced in wounds and as an iatrogenic substance. Moreover, it has been recently considered a possible biological warfare agent. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in BoNT detection technologies, including mouse lethality assays, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and endopeptidase assays and by mass spectrometry. Critical assay requirements, including rapid assay, active toxin detection, sensitive and accurate detection, still remain challenging. Here, we present a novel method to detect active BoNTs using a Glyco-quantitative polymerase chain-reaction (qPCR) approach. Sialyllactose, which interacts with the binding-domain of BoNTs, is incorporated into a sialyllactose-DNA conjugate as a binding-probe for active BoNT and recovered through BoNT-immunoprecipitation. Glyco-qPCR analysis of the bound sialyllactose-DNA is then used to detect low attomolar concentrations of BoNT and attomolar to femtomolar concentrations of BoNT in honey, the most common foodborne source of infant botulism.
PMCID: PMC3985614  PMID: 24506443
25.  Structural Characterization of Pharmaceutical Heparins Prepared from Different Animal Tissues 
Journal of pharmaceutical sciences  2013;102(5):10.1002/jps.23501.
Although most pharmaceutical heparin used today is obtained from porcine intestine, heparin has historically been prepared from bovine lung and ovine intestine. There is some regulatory concern about establishing the species origin of heparin. This concern began with the outbreak of mad cow disease in the 1990s and was exacerbated during the heparin shortage in the 2000s and the heparin contamination crisis of 2007–2008. Three heparins from porcine, ovine, and bovine were characterized through state-of-the-art carbohydrate analysis methods with a view profiling their physicochemical properties. Differences in molecular weight, monosaccharide and disaccharide composition, oligosaccharide sequence, and antithrombin III-binding affinity were observed. These data provide some insight into the variability of heparins obtained from these three species and suggest some analytical approaches that may be useful in confirming the species origin of a heparin active pharmaceutical ingredient.
PMCID: PMC3866627  PMID: 23526651
bioanalysis; glycosaminoglycans; heparin; LC–MS; NMR; mass spectomery; surface plasmon resonance; antithrombin III

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