Glycans that are fluorescently tagged by reductive amination have been useful for functional glycomic studies. However, the existing tags can introduce unwanted properties to the glycans and complicate structural and functional studies. Here we describe a facile method using N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) to remove the tags and efficiently regenerate free reducing glycans. The regenerated free reducing glycans can be easily analyzed by routine mass spectrometry or re-tagged with different tags for further studies. This new method can be used to efficiently remove a variety of fluorescent tags installed by reductive amination, including 2-aminobenzoic acid and 2-aminopyridine. NBS treatment essentially transforms the commonly used 2-aminobenzoic linkage to a cleavable linkage. It can be used to cleave printed glycans from microarrays and cleave neoglycopeptides containing a 2-aminobenzoic linker.
Glycomics; free reducing glycan; fluorescent tag; reversible cleavage
Genomic approaches continue to provide unprecedented insight into the microbiome, yet host immune interactions with diverse microbiota can be difficult to study. We therefore generated a microbial microarray containing defined antigens isolated from a broad range of microbial flora to examine adaptive and innate immunity. Serological studies with this microarray show that immunoglobulins from multiple mammalian species exhibit unique patterns of reactivity, while exposure of animals to distinct microbes induces specific serological recognition. While adaptive immunity exhibited plasticity toward microbial antigens, immunological tolerance limits reactivity toward self. We discovered that several innate immune galectins exhibit specific recognition of microbes that express self-like antigens, leading to direct killing of a broad range of gram negative and positive microbes. Thus, host protection against microbes appears to represent a balance between adaptive and innate immunity to defend against evolving antigenic determinants while protecting against molecular mimicry.
Schistosoma mansoni and other Schistosoma sp. are multicellular parasitic helminths (worms) that infect humans and mammals worldwide. Infection by these parasites, which results in developmental maturation and sexual differentiation of the worms over a period of 5–6 weeks, induces antibodies to glycan antigens expressed in surface and secreted glycoproteins and glycolipids. There is growing interest in defining these unusual parasite-synthesized glycan antigens and using them to understand immune responses, their roles in immunomodulation, and in using glycan antigens as potential vaccine targets. A key problem in this area, however, has been the lack of information about the enzymes involved in elaborating the complex repertoire of glycans represented by the schistosome glycome. Recent availability of the nuclear genome sequences for Schistosoma sp. has created the opportunity to define the glycogenome, which represents the specific genes and cognate enzymes that generate the glycome. Here we describe the current state of information in regard to the schistosome glycogenome and glycome and highlight the important classes of glycans and glycogenes that may be important in their generation.
glycans; glycoconjugates; genome; glycosyltransferases; glycan biosynthesis; schistosomiasis
Assessing interactions of a glycan-binding protein (GBP) or lectin with glycans on a microarray generates large datasets, making it difficult to identify a glycan structural motif or determinant associated with the highest apparent binding strength of the GBP. We have developed a computational method, termed GlycanMotifMiner, that uses the relative binding of a GBP with glycans within a glycan microarray to automatically reveal the glycan structural motifs recognized by a GBP. We implemented the software with a web-based graphical interface for users to explore and visualize the discovered motifs. The utility of GlycanMotifMiner was determined using five plant lectins, SNA, HPA, PNA, Con A, and UEA-I. Data from the analyses of the lectins at different protein concentrations were processed to rank the glycans based on their relative binding strengths. The motifs, defined as glycan substructures that exist in a large number of the bound glycans and few non-bound glycans, were then discovered by our algorithm and displayed in a web-based graphical user interface (http://glycanmotifminer.emory.edu). The information is used in defining the glycan-binding specificity of GBPs. The results were compared to the known glycan specificities of these lectins generated by manual methods. A more complex analysis was also carried out using glycan microarray data obtained for a recombinant form of human galectin-8. Results for all of these lectins show that GlycanMotifMiner identified the major motifs known in the literature along with some unexpected novel binding motifs.
Glycomics is a broad and emerging scientific discipline focused on defining the structures and functional roles of glycans in biological systems. The staggering complexity of the glycome, minimally defined as the repertoire of glycans expressed in a cell or organism, has resulted in many challenges that must be overcome; these are being addressed by new advances in mass spectrometry, as well as expansion of genetic and cell biology studies. Conversely, identifying the specific glycan recognition determinants of glycan-binding proteins by employing the new technology of glycan microarrays is providing insights into how glycans function in recognition and signaling within an organism and with microbes and pathogens. The promises of a more complete knowledge of glycomes are immense in that glycan modifications of intracellular and extracellular proteins have critical functions in almost all biological pathways.
Helminths are multicellular parasitic worms that comprise a major class of human pathogens and cause an immense amount of suffering worldwide. Helminths possess an abundance of complex and unique glycoconjugates that interact with both the innate and adaptive arms of immunity in definitive and intermediate hosts. These glycoconjugates represent a major untapped reservoir of immunomodulatory compounds, which have the potential to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and antigenic glycans, which could be exploited as vaccines and diagnostics. This review will survey current knowledge of the interactions between helminth glycans and host immunity and highlight the gaps in our understanding which are relevant to advancing therapeutics, vaccine development, and diagnostics.
glycans; glycoconjugates; helminths; C-type lectin; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; anti-glycan antibodies; schistosomiasis
Dengue virus (DENV) is an enveloped RNA virus that is mosquito-transmitted and can infect a variety of immune and non-immune cells. Response to infection ranges from asymptomatic disease to a severe disorder known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. Despite efforts to control the disease, there are no effective treatments or vaccines. In our search for new antiviral compounds to combat infection by dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1), we investigated the role of galectin-1, a widely-expressed mammalian lectin with functions in cell-pathogen interactions and immunoregulatory properties. We found that DENV-1 infection of cells in vitro exhibited caused decreased expression of Gal-1 in several different human cell lines, suggesting that loss of Gal-1 is associated with virus production. In test of this hypothesis we found that exogenous addition of human recombinant Gal-1 (hrGal-1) inhibits the virus production in the three different cell types. This inhibitory effect was dependent on hrGal-1 dimerization and required its carbohydrate recognition domain. Importantly, the inhibition was specific for hrGal-1, since no effect was observed using recombinant human galectin-3. Interestingly, we found that hrGal-1 directly binds to dengue virus and acts, at least in part, during the early stages of DENV-1 infection, by inhibiting viral adsorption and its internalization to target cells. To test the in vivo role of Gal-1 in DENV infection, Gal-1-deficient-mice were used to demonstrate that the expression of endogenous Galectin-1 contributes to resistance of macrophages to in vitro-infection with DENV-1 and it is also important to physiological susceptibility of mice to in vivo infection with DENV-1. These results provide novel insights into the functions of Gal-1 in resistance to DENV infection and suggest that Gal-1 should be explored as a potential antiviral compound.
PMN migration across the intestinal epithelium closely parallels disease symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). PMN transepithelial migration (TEM) is a multistep process that terminates with PMN detachment from the apical epithelium into the lumen. Using a unique mAb (GM35), we have previously demonstrated that engagement of the V6 variant of CD44 (CD44v6) blocks both PMN detachment and cleavage of CD44v6. Here, we report that PMN binding to CD44v6 is mediated by protein-specific O-glycosylation with sialyl Lewis A (sLea). Analyses of glycosyltransferase expression identified fucosyltransferase 3 (Fut3) as the key enzyme driving sLea biosynthesis in human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). Fut3 transfection of sLea-deficient IECs resulted in robust expression of sLea. However, this glycan was not expressed on CD44v6 in these transfected IECs, and therefore engagement of sLea had no effect on PMN TEM across these cells. Analyses of sLea in human colonic mucosa revealed minimal expression in noninflamed areas, with striking upregulation under colitic conditions that correlated with increased expression of CD44v6. Importantly, intraluminal administration of mAb GM35 blocked PMN TEM and attenuated associated increases in intestinal permeability in a murine intestinal model of inflammation. These findings identify a unique role for protein-specific O-glycosylation in regulating PMN-epithelial interactions at the luminal surface of the intestine.
Glycoproteins expressed by Cryptosporidium parvum are
immunogenic in infected individuals but the nature of the epitopes recognised in
C. parvum glycoproteins is poorly understood. Since a known
immunodominant antigen of Cryptosporidium, the 17 kDa
glycoprotein, has previously been shown to bind to lectins that recognise the Tn
antigen (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr-R), a large number of glycopeptides with
different Tn valency and presentation were prepared. In addition, glycopeptides
were synthesised based on a 40 kDa cryptosporidial antigen, a polymorphic
surface glycoprotein with varying numbers of serine residues, to determine the
reactivity with sera from C. parvum-infected humans. These
glycopeptides and non-glycosylated peptides were used to generate a glycopeptide
microarray to allow screening of sera from C. parvum-infected
individuals for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies. IgG but not IgM in sera
from C. parvum-infected individuals bound to multivalent Tn
antigen epitopes presented on glycopep-tides, suggesting that glycoproteins from
C. parvum that contain the Tn antigen induce immune
responses upon infection. In addition, molecular differences in glycosylated
peptides (e.g. substituting Ser for Thr) as well as the site of glycosylation
had a pronounced effect on reactivity. Lastly, pooled sera from individuals
infected with either Toxoplasma or Plasmodium
were also tested against the modified Cryptosporidium peptides
and some sera showed specific binding to glycopeptide epitopes. These studies
reveal that specific anti-glycopeptide antibodies that recognise the Tn antigen
may be useful diagnostically and in defining the roles of parasite
glycoconjugates in infections.
Cryptosporidium parvum; Tn antigen; Glycopeptide microarrays; Toxoplasma; Plasmodium
Influenza viruses initiate infection by attaching to sialic acid receptors on the surface of host cells. It has been recognized for some time that avian influenza viruses usually bind to terminal sialic acid that is linked in the α2-3 configuration to the next sugar while human viruses show preference for α2-6 linked sialic acid. With developments in synthetic chemistry and chemo-enzymatic methods of synthesizing quite complex glycans, it has become clear that the binding specificity extends beyond the sialic acid, and this has led to considerable interest in developing glycan reagents that could be used either as a diagnostic tool for particular influenza viruses, or to identify cells that are susceptible to infection by certain influenza viruses. Here we describe the use of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics Glycan Array to investigate binding specificity of influenza hemagglutinin and cleavage by neuraminidase, using seasonal and pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses as examples, and compare the results with published data using other array methods.
Influenza virus; hemagglutinin; neuraminidase; Glycan Array; Consortium for Functional Glycomics
glycan microarrays; carbohydrate; glycomics
The parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni synthesizes immunogenic glycans containing the human Lewis x antigen (Lex; Galactose-β1-4(Fucα1-3)N-acetylglucosamine-β-R, also called CD15), but the biological role(s) of this antigen in the parasites and in humans is poorly understood. To develop IgG-based monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for Lex, we harvested splenocytes from S. mansoni-infected Swiss Webster mice at Week 10 postinfection, when peak IgG responses to glycan antigens occur, and generated a panel of hybridomas secreting anti-glycan IgG that recognize periodate-sensitive epitopes in soluble egg antigens of the parasites, and also recognizes a neoglycoprotein containing a pentasaccharide with the Lex sequence. One murine mAb, an IgG3 designated F8A1.1, bound to glycoproteins and glycolipids from schistosome adults and human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells that express Lex antigens, as assessed by a wide variety of approaches including immunofluorescence staining, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and western blotting, as well as overlay assays of glycolipids after thin-layer chromatography. In contrast, F8A1.1 bound weakly to cercariae, 3-h schistosomula and human Jurkat cells. We also directly compared the glycan specificity of F8A1.1 with commercially available anti-CD15 IgG1 (clone W6D3) using a defined glycan microarray. The results demonstrated that F8A1.1 recognized glycans expressing Lex epitopes in a terminal nonreducing position, whereas anti-CD15 bound to glycans with multiple repeats of Lex epitopes, but not to glycans with a single, terminal Lex epitope. Our results show that F8A1.1 recognizes terminal Lex epitopes and can be used for identification, immunolocalization, immunoprecipitation and purification of Lex-containing glycoconjugates from schistosomes and mammalian cells.
glycans; helminth; Lewis x antigen; monoclonal antibody; Schistosoma mansoni
The ATBF1/ZFHX3 gene at 16q22 is the second most frequently mutated gene in human prostate cancer and has reduced expression or mislocalization in several types of human tumors. Nonetheless, the hypothesis that ATBF1 has a tumor suppressor function in prostate cancer has not been tested. In this study, we examined the role of ATBF1 in prostatic carcinogenesis by specifically deleting Atbf1 in mouse prostatic epithelial cells. We also examined the effect of Atbf1 deletion on gene expression and signaling pathways in mouse prostates. Histopathologic analyses showed that Atbf1 deficiency caused hyperplasia and mouse prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (mPIN) primarily in the dorsal prostate but also in other lobes. Hemizygous deletion of Atbf1 also increased the development of hyperplasia and mPIN, indicating a haploinsufficiency of Atbf1. The mPIN lesions expressed luminal cell markers and harbored molecular changes similar to those in human PIN and prostate cancer, including weaker expression of basal cell marker cytokeratin 5 (Ck5), cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, and the smooth muscle layer marker Sma; elevated expression of the oncoproteins phospho-Erk1/2, phospho-Akt and Muc1; and aberrant protein glycosylation. Gene expression profiling revealed a large number of genes that were dysregulated by Atbf1 deletion, particularly those that encode for secretory and cell membrane proteins. The four signaling networks that were most affected by Atbf1 deletion included those centered on Erk1/2 and IGF1, Akt and FSH, NF-κB and progesterone and β-estradiol. These findings provide in vivo evidence that ATBF1 is a tumor suppressor in the prostate, suggest that loss of Atbf1 contributes to tumorigenesis by dysregulating membrane and secretory proteins and multiple signaling pathways, and provide a new animal model for prostate cancer.
Major challenges of glycomics are to characterize a glycome and identify functional glycans as ligands for glycan-binding proteins (GBPs). To address these issues we have developed a general strategy termed shotgun glycomics. We focus on glycosphingolipids (GSLs), a challenging class of glycoconjugates recognized by toxins, antibodies, and GBPs. We derivatized GSLs extracted from cells with a heterobifunctional fluorescent tag suitable for covalent immobilization. Fluorescent GSLs were separated by multidimensional chromatography, quantified, and coupled to glass slides to create GSL shotgun microarrays. The microarrays were interrogated with cholera toxin, antibodies, and sera from patients with Lyme disease to identify biologically relevant GSLs that were subsequently characterized by mass spectrometry. Shotgun glycomics incorporating GSLs and potentially glycoprotein-derived glycans provides an approach to accessing the complex glycomes of animal cells and offers a strategy for focusing structural analyses on functionally significant glycans.
glycosphingolipids; glycan array; fluorescent labeling; immobilization; functional glycomics
Modifications of proteins by O-glycosylation determine many of the properties and functions of proteins. We wish to understand the mechanisms of O-glycosylation and develop inhibitors that could affect glycoprotein functions and alter cellular behavior.
We expressed recombinant soluble human Gal- and GlcNAc-transferases that synthesize the O-glycan cores 1 to 4 and are critical for the overall structures of O-glycans. We determined the properties and substrate specificities of these enzymes using synthetic acceptor substrate analogs. Compounds that were inactive as substrates were tested as inhibitors.
Enzymes significantly differed in their recognition of the sugar moieties and aglycone groups of substrates. Core 1 synthase was active with glycopeptide substrates but GlcNAc-transferases preferred substrates with hydrophobic aglycone groups. Chemical modifications of the acceptors shed light on enzyme–substrate interactions. Core 1 synthase was weakly inhibited by its substrate analog benzyl 2-butanamido-2-deoxy-α-D-galactoside while two of the three GlcNAc-transferases were selectively and potently inhibited by bis-imidazolium salts which are not substrate analogs.
This work delineates the distinct specificities and properties of the enzymes that synthesize the common O-glycan core structures 1 to 4. New inhibitors were found that could selectively inhibit the synthesis of cores 1, 2 and 3 but not core 4.
These studies help our understanding of the mechanisms of action of enzymes critical for O-glycosylation. The results may be useful for the re-engineering of O-glycosylation to determine the roles of O-glycans and the enzymes critical for O-glycosylation, and for biotechnology with potential therapeutic applications.
O-Glycans; Specificity; Inhibitors; C1GalT; C3GnT; C2GnT
Glycan microarray technology has become a successful tool for studying protein-carbohydrate interactions, but a limitation has been the laborious synthesis of glycan structures by enzymatic and chemical methods. Here we describe a new method to generate quantifiable glycan libraries from natural sources by combining widely used protease digestion of glycoproteins and Fmoc chemistry. Glycoproteins including chicken ovalbumin, bovine fetuin, and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were digested by pronase, protected by FmocCl, and efficiently separated by 2D-HPLC. We show that glycans from HRP glycopeptides separated by HPLC and fluorescence monitoring retained their natural reducing end structures, mostly core α1,3-fucose and core α1,2-xylose. After simple Fmoc-deprotection, the glycans were printed on NHS-activated glass slides. The glycans were interrogated using plant lectins and antibodies in sera from mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni, which revealed the presence of both IgM and IgG antibody responses to HRP-glycopeptides. This simple approach to glycopeptide purification and conjugation allows for the development of natural glycopeptide microarrays without the need to remove and derivatize glycans and potentially compromise their reducing end determinants.
Glycan array; fluorescent labeling; immobilization; functional glycomics
A novel strategy for creating naturally-derived glycan microarrays has been developed. Glycosylamines are prepared from free reducing glycans and stabilized by reaction with acryloyl chloride to generate a glycosylamide in which the reducing monosaccharide has a closed ring structure. Ozonolysis of the protected glycan yields an active aldehyde, to which a bifunctional fluorescent linker is coupled by reductive amination. The fluorescent derivatives are easily coupled through a residual primary alkylamine to generate glycan microarrays. This strategy preserves structural features of glycans required for antibody recognition, and allows development of natural arrays of fluorescent glycans in which the cyclic pyranose structure of the reducing-end sugar residue is retained.
Fluorescent labeling; Functional glycomics; Glycan array; Glycosylamine; Immobilization
The expression of ABO(H) blood group antigens causes deletion of cells that generate self anti-blood group antibodies, but this deletion limits adaptive immunity toward pathogens bearing cognate blood group antigens. To explore potential defense mechanisms against these pathogens, given such limitations in adaptive immunity, we screened for innate proteins that could recognize human blood group antigens. Here we report that two innate immune lectins, galectins-4 and -8, which are expressed in the intestinal tract, recognize and kill human blood group antigen-expressing E. coli, while failing to alter viability of other E. coli strains or other gram-negative or gram-positive organisms both in vitro and in vivo. Killing by both galectins-4 and -8 resides within their C-terminal domains, occurs rapidly and independently of complement, and is accompanied by disruption of membrane integrity. These results demonstrate that innate defense lectins can provide immunity against pathogens that display blood group self-antigens on their surface.
Many diseases and disorders are characterized by quantitative and/or qualitative changes in complex carbohydrates. Mass spectrometry methods show promise in monitoring and detecting these important biological changes. Here we report a new glycomics method, termed Glycan Reductive Isotope Labeling (GRIL), where free glycans are derivatized by reductive amination with the differentially coded stable isotope tags [12C6]-aniline and [13C6]-aniline. These dual-labeled aniline-tagged glycans can be recovered by reversed-phase chromatography and quantified based on UV-absorbance and relative ion abundances. Unlike previously reported isotopically coded reagents for glycans, GRIL does not contain deuterium, which can be chromatographically resolved. Our method shows no chromatographic resolution of differentially labeled glycans. Mixtures of differentially tagged glycans can be directly compared and quantified using mass spectrometric techniques. We demonstrate the use of GRIL to determine relative differences in glycan amount and composition. We analyze free glycans and glycans enzymatically or chemically released from a variety of standard glycoproteins, as well as human and mouse serum glycoproteins using this method. This technique allows for linear, relative quantitation of glycans over a 10-fold concentration range and can accurately quantify sub-picomole levels of released glycans, providing a needed advancement in the field of Glycomics.
Mass spectrometry; MALDI; glycans; glycoproteins; oligosaccharides; reductive amination
The recognition of sialic acids by two strains of minute virus of mice (MVM), MVMp (prototype) and MVMi (immunosuppressive), is an essential requirement for successful infection. To understand the potential for recognition of different modifications of sialic acid by MVM, three types of capsids, virus-like particles, wild type empty (no DNA) capsids, and DNA packaged virions, were screened on a sialylated glycan microarray (SGM). Both viruses demonstrated a preference for binding to 9-O-methylated sialic acid derivatives, while MVMp showed additional binding to 9-O-acetylated and 9-O-lactoylated sialic acid derivatives, indicating recognition differences. The glycans recognized contained a type-2 Galβ1-4GlcNAc motif (Neu5Acα2-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc or 3′SIA-LN) and were biantennary complex-type N-glycans with the exception of one. To correlate the recognition of the 3′SIA-LN glycan motif as well as the biantennary structures to their natural expression in cell lines permissive for MVMp, MVMi, or both strains, the N- and O-glycans, and polar glycolipids present in three cell lines used for in vitro studies, A9 fibroblasts, EL4 T lymphocytes, and the SV40 transformed NB324K cells, were analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. The cells showed an abundance of the sialylated glycan motifs recognized by the viruses in the SGM and previous glycan microarrays supporting their role in cellular recognition by MVM. Significantly, the NB324K showed fucosylation at the non-reducing end of their biantennary glycans, suggesting that recognition of these cells is possibly mediated by the Lewis X motif as in 3′SIA-LeX identified in a previous glycan microarray screen.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1) and galectin-3 (Gal-3) are widely expressed galectins with immunoregulatory functions in animals. To explore their glycan specificity, we developed microarrays of naturally occurring glycans using a novel bifunctional fluorescent linker, 2-amino-N-(2-aminoethyl)-benzamide (AEAB), directly conjugated through its arylamine group by reductive amination to free glycans to form glycan-AEABs (GAEABs). Glycans from natural sources were used to prepare over 200 GAEABs, which were purified by multidimensional HPLC and covalently immobilized onto NHS-activated glass slides via their free alkylamine. Fluorescence-based screening demonstrated that Gal-1 recognizes a wide variety of complex N-glycans, whereas Gal-3 primarily recognizes poly-N-acetyllactosamine-containing glycans independent of N-glycan presentation. GAEABs provide a general solution to glycan microarray preparation from natural sources for defining the specificity of glycan-binding proteins.
galectin; glycan microarray; fluorescent labeling; immobilization; functional glycomics
The bisecting GlcNAc is transferred to the core mannose residue of complex or hybrid N-glycans on glycoproteins by the β1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GlcNAcT-III) or MGAT3. The addition of the bisecting GlcNAc confers unique lectin recognition properties to N-glycans. Thus, LEC10 gain-of-function Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells selected for the acquisition of ricin resistance, carry N-glycans with a bisecting GlcNAc, which enhances the binding of the erythroagglutinin E-PHA, but reduces the binding of ricin and galectins-1, -3 and -8. The altered interaction with galactose-binding lectins suggests that the bisecting GlcNAc affects N-glycan conformation. LEC10 mutants expressing polyoma middle T antigen (PyMT) exhibit reduced growth factor signaling. Furthermore, PyMT-induced mammary tumors lacking MGAT3, progress more rapidly than tumors with the bisecting GlcNAc on N-glycans of cell surface glycoproteins. In recent years, evidence for a new paradigm of cell growth control has emerged involving regulation of cell surface residency of growth factor and cytokine receptors via interactions and cross-linking of their branched N-glycans with a lattice of galectin(s). Specific cross-linking of glycoprotein receptors in the lattice regulates their endocytosis, leading to effects on growth factor-induced signaling. This review will describe evidence that the bisecting GlcNAc of N-glycans regulates cellular signaling and tumor progression, apparently through modulating N-glycan/galectin interactions.
Glycosylation; Bisecting GlcNAc; Complex N-glycans; Galectins; Mgat3
Cells normally undergo physiological turnover through the induction of apoptosis and phagocytic removal, partly through exposure of cell surface phosphatidylserine (PS). In contrast, neutrophils appear to possess apoptosis-independent mechanisms of removal. Here we show that Galectin-1 (Gal-1) induces PS exposure independent of alterations in mitochondrial potential, caspase activation, or cell death. Furthermore, Gal-1–induced PS exposure reverts after Gal-1 removal without altering cell viability. Gal-1–induced PS exposure is uniquely microdomain restricted, yet cells exposing PS do not display evident alterations in membrane morphology nor do they exhibit bleb formation, typically seen in apoptotic cells. Long-term exposure to Gal-1 prolongs PS exposure with no alteration in cell cycle progression or cell growth. These results demonstrate that Gal-1–induced PS exposure and subsequent phagocytic removal of living cells represents a new paradigm in cellular turnover.
Regulatory pathways for protein glycosylation are poorly understood, but expression of branchpoint enzymes is critical. A key branchpoint enzyme is the T-synthase, which directs synthesis of the common core 1 O-glycan structure (T-antigen), the precursor structure for most mucin-type O-glycans in a wide variety of glycoproteins. Formation of active T-synthase, which resides in the Golgi apparatus, requires a unique molecular chaperone, Cosmc, encoded on Xq24. Cosmc is the only molecular chaperone known to be lost through somatic acquired mutations in cells. We show that Cosmc is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–localized adenosine triphosphate binding chaperone that binds directly to human T-synthase. Cosmc prevents the aggregation and ubiquitin-mediated degradation of the T-synthase. These results demonstrate that Cosmc is a molecular chaperone in the ER required for this branchpoint glycosyltransferase function and show that expression of the disease-related Tn antigen can result from deregulation or loss of Cosmc function.
CD52 is a GPI-anchored glycopeptide antigen found on sperm cells and human lymphocytes. Recent structural studies indicate that sperm-associated CD52 antigen carries both a complex type N-glycan and an O-glycan on the polypeptide backbone. To facilitate functional and immunological studies of distinct CD52 glycoforms, we report in this paper the first chemoenzymatic synthesis of homogeneous CD52 glycoforms carrying both N- and O-glycans. The synthetic strategy consists of two key steps: monosaccharide primers GlcNAc and GalNAc were first installed at the pre-determined N- and O-glycosylation sites by a facile solid-phase peptide synthesis, and then the N- and O-glycans were extended by respective enzymatic glycosylations. It was found that the endoglycosidase-catalyzed transglycosylation allowed efficient attachment of an intact N-glycan in a single step at the N-glycosylation site, while the recombinant human T-synthase could independently extend the O-linked GalNAc to form the core 1 O-glycan. This chemoenzymatic approach is highly convergent and permits easy construction of various homogeneous CD52 glycoforms from a common polypeptide precursor. In addition, the introduction of a latent thiol group in the form of protected cysteamine at the C-terminus of the CD52 glycoforms will enable site-specific conjugation to a carrier protein to provide immunogens for generating CD52 glycoform-specific antibodies for functional studies.