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1.  Bisected, complex N-glycans and galectins in mouse mammary tumor progression and human breast cancer 
Glycobiology  2013;23(12):1477-1490.
Bisected, complex N-glycans on glycoproteins are generated by the glycosyltransferase MGAT3 and cause reduced cell surface binding of galectins. Previously, we showed that MGAT3 reduces growth factor signaling and retards mammary tumor progression driven by the Polyoma middle T antigen (PyMT) expressed in mammary epithelium under the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter. However, the penetrance of the tumor phenotype became variable in mixed FVB/N and C57BL/6 female mice and we therefore investigated a congenic C57BL/6 Mgat3−/−/MMTV-PyMT model. In the absence of MGAT3, C57BL/6 Mgat3−/−/MMTV-PyMT females exhibited accelerated tumor appearance and increased tumor burden, glucose uptake in tumors and lung metastasis. Nevertheless, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 or protein kinase B (AKT) was reduced in ∼20-week C57BL/6 MMTV-PyMT tumors lacking MGAT3. Activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), protein tyrosine kinase Src, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase were similar to that of controls. All the eight mouse galectin genes were expressed in mammary tumors and tumor epithelial cells (TECs), but galectin-2 and -12 were not detected by western analysis in tumors, and galectin-7 was not detected in 60% of the TEC lines. From microarray data reported for human breast cancers, at least 10 galectin and 7 N-glycan N-acetylglucosaminyl (GlcNAc)-transferase (MGAT) genes are expressed in tumor tissue, and expression often varies significantly between different breast cancer subtypes. Thus, in summary, while MGAT3 and bisected complex N-glycans retard mouse mammary tumor progression, genetic background may modify this effect; identification of key galectins that promote mammary tumor progression in mice is not straightforward because all the eight galectin genes are expressed; and high levels of MGAT3, galectin-4, -8, -10, -13 and -14 transcripts correlate with better relapse-free survival in human breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3816629  PMID: 24037315
breast cancer; galectins; mammary tumors;  MGAT3; TCGA
2.  Identifying human milk glycans that inhibit norovirus binding using surface plasmon resonance 
Glycobiology  2013;23(12):1491-1498.
Human milk glycans inhibit binding between norovirus and its host glycan receptor; such competitive inhibition by human milk glycans is associated with a reduced risk of infection. The relationship between the presence of specific structural motifs in the human milk glycan and its ability to inhibit binding by specific norovirus strains requires facile, accurate and miniaturized-binding assays. Toward this end, a high-throughput biosensor platform was developed based on surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) of glycan microarrays. The SPRi was validated, and its utility was tested, by measuring binding specificities between defined human milk glycan epitopes and the capsids of two common norovirus strains, VA387 and Norwalk. Human milk oligosaccharide (HMOS)-based neoglycoconjugates, including chemically derived neoglycoproteins and oligosaccharide-glycine derivatives, were used to represent polyvalent glycoconjugates and monovalent oligosaccharides, respectively, in human milk. SPRi binding results established that the glycan motifs that bind norovirus capsids depend upon strain; VA387 capsid interacts with two neoglycoproteins, whereas Norwalk capsid binds to a different set of HMOS motifs in the form of both polyvalent neoglycoproteins and monovalent oligosaccharides. SPRi competitive binding assays further demonstrated that specific norovirus-binding glycans are able to inhibit norovirus capsid binding to their host receptors. A polyvalent neoglycoconjugate with clustered carbohydrate moieties is required for the inhibition of VA387 capsid binding to host receptor glycans, whereas both monovalent oligosaccharides and polyvalent neoglycoconjugates are able to inhibit Norwalk capsid binding to its host receptor. Binding of HMOS and HMOS-based neoglycoconjugates to norovirus capsids depends upon the specific strain characteristics, implying that HMOS and their polyvalent derivatives are potential anti-adhesive agents for norovirus prophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC3816630  PMID: 24026239
anti-adhesives; host–pathogen interactions; human milk glycans; norovirus; surface plasmon resonance
3.  Identification of the galactosyltransferase of Cryptococcus neoformans involved in the biosynthesis of basidiomycete-type glycosylinositolphosphoceramide 
Glycobiology  2013;23(11):1210-1219.
The pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans synthesizes a complex family of glycosylinositolphosphoceramide (GIPC) structures. These glycosphingolipids (GSLs) consist of mannosylinositolphosphoceramide (MIPC) extended by β1-6-linked galactose, a unique structure that has to date only been identified in basidiomycetes. Further extension by up to five mannose residues and a branching xylose has been described. In this study, we identified and determined the gene structure of the enzyme Ggt1, which catalyzes the transfer of a galactose residue to MIPC. Deletion of the gene in C. neoformans resulted in complete loss of GIPCs containing galactose, a phenotype that could be restored by the episomal expression of Ggt1 in the deletion mutant. The entire annotated open reading frame, encoding a C-terminal GT31 galactosyltransferase domain and a large N-terminal domain of unknown function, was required for complementation. Notably, this gene does not encode a predicted signal sequence or transmembrane domain. The demonstration that Ggt1 is responsible for the transfer of a galactose residue to a GSL thus raises questions regarding the topology of this biosynthetic pathway and the function of the N-terminal domain. Phylogenetic analysis of the GGT1 gene shows conservation in hetero- and homobasidiomycetes but no homologs in ascomycetes or outside of the fungal kingdom.
PMCID: PMC3796374  PMID: 23926231
basidiomycete; fungal glycans; galactosyltransferase; GIPC; glycolipids
4.  Systemic alteration of cell-surface and secreted glycoprotein expression in malignant breast cancer cell lines 
Glycobiology  2013;23(11):1240-1249.
Breast cancer cell lines express fewer transmembrane and secreted glycoproteins than nonmalignant ones. The objective of these experiments was to characterize the changes in the expression of several hundred glycoproteins quantitatively. Secreted and cell-surface glycoproteins were isolated using a glycoprotein capture protocol and then identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Glycoproteins expressed by a group of cell lines originating from malignant tumors of the breast were compared with those expressed by a nonmalignant set. The average number of spectral counts (proportional to relative protein abundance) and the total number of glycopeptides in the malignant samples were reduced to about two-thirds of the level in the nonmalignant samples. Most glycoproteins were expressed at a different level in the malignant samples, with nearly as many increasing as decreasing. The glycoproteins with reduced expression accounted for a larger change in spectral counts, and hence for the net loss of spectral counts in the malignant lines. Similar results were found when the glycoproteins were studied via identified glycosylation sites only, or through identified sites together with non-glycopeptides. The overall reduction is largely due to the loss of integrins, laminins and other proteins that form or interact with the basement membrane.
PMCID: PMC3796375  PMID: 23918816
breast cancer; glycoproteins; glycosylation sites; mass spectrometry; proteomics
5.  Molecular mass dependence of hyaluronan detection by sandwich ELISA-like assay and membrane blotting using biotinylated hyaluronan binding protein 
Glycobiology  2013;23(11):1270-1280.
Hyaluronan (HA) is widely detected in biological samples and its concentration is most commonly determined by the use of a labeled specific HA binding protein (aggrecan G1-IGD-G2, HABP), employing membrane blotting and sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-like methods. However, the detected signal intensity or the quantified value obtained by using these surface-based methods is related to the molecular mass (M) of HA, especially for HA in the low M range below ∼150 kDa. At the same mass or mass concentration, higher M HA gives a higher signal than lower M HA. We have experimentally determined the quantitative relationship between the M of HA (in the range 20–150 kDa) and the relative signal intensity in comparison with a standard HA, in a sandwich ELISA-like assay. An M-dependent signal correction factor (SCF) was calculated and used to correct the signal intensity, so that the corrected concentration value would more accurately reflect the true HA concentration in solution. The SCF for polydisperse low M HA was also calculated and compared with experimental results. When the molecular mass distribution of an HA sample is determined by a method such as gel electrophoresis, then its appropriately averaged SCF can be calculated and used to correct the signal in sandwich ELISA to obtain a more accurate concentration estimation. The correction method works for HA with M between ∼150 and 20 kDa, but lower M HA is too poorly detected for useful analysis. The physical basis of the M-dependent detection is proposed to be the increase in detector-accessible fraction of each surface-bound molecule as M increases.
PMCID: PMC3796376  PMID: 23964097
blotting; detection; ELISA; hyaluronan; quantification
6.  Utilization of major fucosylated and sialylated human milk oligosaccharides by isolated human gut microbes 
Glycobiology  2013;23(11):1281-1292.
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOS) are not digested in the proximal intestine. In distal intestine, HMOS collectively modify the microbiota, but the response of individual bacteria to individual components of the HMOS is not well defined. Here, each of 25 major isolates of the human intestinal microbiota was fed individual major fucosylated and sialylated HMOS in anaerobic culture. This allowed for an assessment of the influence of specific HMOS on the growth and metabolic products of individual microbiota bacteria. Most Bifidobacteria spp. and Bacteroides spp. grew, induced α-l-fucosidase activity, and produced abundant lactate or short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) when fed 2′-fucosyllactose (2′-FL), 3-FL, and lactodifucotetraose (LDFT). Lactobacillus delbrueckii ATCC7830, Enterococcus faecalis ATCC19433, and Streptococcus thermophilus ATCC19258 exhibited slight growth, pH reduction, and lactate production when supplemented with 2′-FL or 3-FL, but not LDFT. Supplementation with 3′-sialyllactose (3′-SL) and 6′-SL promoted moderate growth of Bifidobacterium longum JCM7007, 7009, 7010, 7011, 1272, 11347, ATCC15708, Bacteroides vulgatus ATCC8482, and B. thetaiotaomicron ATCC29148; accordingly, these bacteria exhibited greater neuraminidase activity and produced copious lactate, SCFA, or both. Lactobacillus delbrueckii ATCC7830 also consumed 6′-SL. In contrast, Clostridium spp., L. rhamnosus ATCC53103, E. faecalis ATCC29200, Staphylococcus spp., Enterobacter spp., and Escherichia coli K12 did not consume milk oligosaccharides nor produce appreciable acidic fermentation products. Specific Bifidobacteria and Bacteroides differentially digest specific individual HMOS, with the major fucosylated milk oligosaccharides most strongly stimulating key species of mutualist symbionts. This suggests strategies for treating dysbiosis of the microbiota and associated inflammatory disorders.
PMCID: PMC3796377  PMID: 24013960
commensal bacteria; glycosidase; human milk oligosaccharides; mutualist bacteria; organic acids
7.  Fucosyltransferase VII improves the function of selectin ligands on cord blood hematopoietic stem cells 
Glycobiology  2013;23(10):1184-1191.
Selectins and their carbohydrate ligands mediate the homing of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) to the bone marrow. We have previously shown that ex vivo fucosylation of selectin ligands on HSPCs by α1,3 fucosyltransferase VI (FUT6) leads to improved human cord blood (CB)-HSPC engraftment in non-obese diabetic (NOD)/severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice. In the present study, we determined whether surface fucosylation with α1,3 fucosyltransferase VII (FUT7), which is primarily expressed by hematopoietic cells, improves the function of selectin ligands on CB-HSPCs in comparison with FUT6. A saturating amount of either FUT6 or FUT7, which generates comparable levels of expression of fucosylated epitopes on CB CD34+ cells, was used for these experiments. In vitro, FUT7-treated CB CD34+ cells exhibited greater binding to P- or E-selectin than that of FUT6-treated CB CD34+ cells under static or physiological flow conditions. In vivo, FUT7 treatment, like FUT6, improved the early engraftment of CB CD34+ cells in the bone marrow of sublethally irradiated NOD/SCID interleukin (IL)-2Rγnull (NSG) mice. FUT7 also exhibited marginally—yet statistically significant—increased engraftment at 4 and 6 weeks after transplantation. In addition, FUT7-treated CB CD34+ cells exhibited increased homing to the bone marrow of irradiated NSG mice relative to sham-treated cells. These data indicate that FUT7 is effective at improving the function of selectin ligands on CB-HSPCs in vitro and enhancing early engraftment of treated CB-HSPCs in the bone marrow of recipients.
PMCID: PMC3766281  PMID: 23899669
CD34+; cord blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; fucosyltransferase; NSG mice; selectin; selectin ligands
8.  Glucocorticoids and microbiota regulate ontogeny of intestinal fucosyltransferase 2 requisite for gut homeostasis 
Glycobiology  2013;23(10):1131-1141.
At weaning, the intestinal mucosa surface glycans change from predominantly sialylated to fucosylated. Intestinal adaptation from milk to solid food is regulated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The contribution by glucocorticoid, an intrinsic factor, and colonization by microbiota, an extrinsic factor, was measured as the induction of α1,2/3-fucosyltransferase and sucrase-isomaltase (SI) activity and gene expression in conventionally raised, germ-free, and bacteria-depleted mice. In conventionally raised mice, cortisone acetate (CA) precociously accelerated SI gene expression up to 3 weeks and fut2 to 4 weeks of age. In germ-free mice, CA treatment induces only SI expression but not fucosyltransferase. In post-weaning bacteria-deficient (germ-free and bacteria-depleted) mice, fut2 expression remains at low suckling levels. In microbiota deficient mice, intestinal fut2 (but not fut1, fut4 or fut7) was induced only by adult microbiota, but not immature microbiota or CA. Fut2 induction could also be restored by colonization by Bacteroides fragilis, but not by a B. fragilis mutant unable to utilize fucose. Restoration of fut2 expression (by either microbiota or B. fragilis) in bacteria-depleted mice is necessary for recovery from dextran sulfate sodium-induced mucosal injury. Thus, glucocorticoids and microbes regulate distinct aspects of gut ontogeny: CA precociously accelerates SI expression and, only in colonized mice, fut2 early expression. The adult microbiota is required for the fut2 induction responsible for the highly fucosylated adult gut phenotype and is necessary for recovery from intestinal injury. Fut2-dependent recovery from inflammation may explain the high incidence of inflammatory disease (Crohn's and necrotizing enterocolitis) in populations with mutant FUT2 polymorphic alleles.
PMCID: PMC3766278  PMID: 23887940
germ-free mice; hormonal regulation; microflora; post-natal development
9.  Deficiency of α-glucosidase I alters glycoprotein glycosylation and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Glycobiology  2013;23(10):1142-1151.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) α-glucosidase I is an enzyme that trims the distal α1,2-linked glucose (Glc) residue from the Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 oligosaccharide following its addition to nascent glycoproteins in the initial step of processing. This reaction is critical to the subsequent processing of N-glycans and thus defects in α-glucosidase I gene in human cause congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG) type IIb. We identified the Caenorhabditis elegans α-glucosidase I gene (F13H10.4, designated agl-1) that encodes a polypeptide with 36% identity to human α-glucosidase I. The agl-1 cDNA restored the expression of complex-type N-glycans on the cell surface of α-glucosidase I-defective Chinese hamster ovary Lec23 cells. RNAi knockdown of agl-1 [agl-1(RNAi)] produced worms that were visibly similar to wild-type, but lifespan was reduced to about half of the control. Analyses of N-glycosylation in agl-1(RNAi) animals by western blotting and mass spectrometry showed reduction of paucimannose and complex-type glycans and dramatic increase of glucosylated oligomannose glycans. In addition, a significant amount of unusual terminally fucosylated N-glycans were found in agl-1(RNAi) animals. ER stress response was also provoked, leading to the accumulation of large amounts of triglucosylated free oligosaccharides (FOSs) (Glc3Man4–5GlcNAc1–2) in agl-1(RNAi) animals. Acceleration of ER-associated degradation in response to the accumulation of unfolded glycoproteins and insufficient interaction with calnexin/calreticulin in the ER lumen likely accounts for the increase of FOSs. Taken together, these studies in C. elegans demonstrate that decreased ER α-glucosidase I affects the entire N-glycan profile and induces chronic ER stress, which may contribute to the pathophysiology of CDG-IIb in humans.
PMCID: PMC3766279  PMID: 23836288
Caenorhabditis elegans; congenital disorder of glycosylation; free oligosaccharide; α-glucosidase I; N-glycan
10.  The polysaccharide inulin is characterized by an extensive series of periodic isoforms with varying biological actions 
Glycobiology  2013;23(10):1164-1174.
In studying the molecular basis for the potent immune activity of previously described gamma and delta inulin particles and to assist in production of inulin adjuvants under Good Manufacturing Practice, we identified five new inulin isoforms, bringing the total to seven plus the amorphous form. These isoforms comprise the step-wise inulin developmental series amorphous → alpha-1 (AI-1) → alpha-2 (AI-2) → gamma (GI) → delta (DI) → zeta (ZI) → epsilon (EI) → omega (OI) in which each higher isoform can be made either by precipitating dissolved inulin or by direct conversion from its precursor, both cases using regularly increasing temperatures. At higher temperatures, the shorter inulin polymer chains are released from the particle and so the key difference between isoforms is that each higher isoform comprises longer polymer chains than its precursor. An increasing trend of degree of polymerization is confirmed by end-group analysis using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Inulin isoforms were characterized by the critical temperatures of abrupt phase-shifts (solubilizations or precipitations) in water suspensions. Such (aqueous) “melting” or “freezing” points are diagnostic and occur in strikingly periodic steps reflecting quantal increases in noncovalent bonding strength and increments in average polymer lengths. The (dry) melting points as measured by modulated differential scanning calorimetry similarly increase in regular steps. We conclude that the isoforms differ in repeated increments of a precisely repeating structural element. Each isoform has a different spectrum of biological activities and we show the higher inulin isoforms to be more potent alternative complement pathway activators.
PMCID: PMC3766280  PMID: 23853206
adjuvant; carbohydrate; inulin; isoform; vaccine
12.  A refined palate: Bacterial consumption of host glycans in the gut 
Glycobiology  2013;23(9):1038-1046.
The human intestine houses a dense microbial ecosystem in which the struggle for nutrients creates a continual and dynamic selective force. Host-produced mucus glycans provide a ubiquitous source of carbon and energy for microbial species. Not surprisingly, many gut resident bacteria have become highly adapted to efficiently consume numerous distinct structures present in host glycans. We propose that sophistication in mucus consumption is a trait most likely to be found in gut residents that have co-evolved with hosts, microbes that have adapted to the complexity associated with the host glycan landscape.
PMCID: PMC3724412  PMID: 23720460
gut microbiota; host-microbial interaction; microbiome; mucin; polysaccharide utilization
13.  The structure of the Mycobacterium smegmatis trehalose synthase reveals an unusual active site configuration and acarbose-binding mode† 
Glycobiology  2013;23(9):1075-1083.
Trehalose synthase (TreS) catalyzes the reversible conversion of maltose into trehalose in mycobacteria as one of three biosynthetic pathways to this nonreducing disaccharide. Given the importance of trehalose to survival of mycobacteria, there has been considerable interest in understanding the enzymes involved in its production; indeed the structures of the key enzymes in the other two pathways have already been determined. Herein, we present the first structure of TreS from Mycobacterium smegmatis, thereby providing insights into the catalytic machinery involved in this intriguing intramolecular reaction. This structure, which is of interest both mechanistically and as a potential pharmaceutical target, reveals a narrow and enclosed active site pocket within which intramolecular substrate rearrangements can occur. We also present the structure of a complex of TreS with acarbose, revealing a hitherto unsuspected oligosaccharide-binding site within the C-terminal domain. This may well provide an anchor point for the association of TreS with glycogen, thereby enhancing its role in glycogen biosynthesis and degradation.
PMCID: PMC3724413  PMID: 23735230
drug design; enzyme inhibition; GH13 glycoside hydrolase; trehalose synthase; tuberculosis
14.  Mucin-type O-glycans and their roles in intestinal homeostasis 
Glycobiology  2013;23(9):1026-1037.
Mucin-type O-glycans are the primary constituents of mucins that are expressed on various mucosal sites of the body, especially the bacteria-laden intestinal tract. Mucins are the main components of mucus, which is secreted by goblet cells and forms a protective homeostatic barrier between the resident microbiota and the underlying immune cells in the colon. However, the specific role of mucin-type O-glycans in mucus barrier function has been uncertain. Recent studies utilizing mice deficient in key glycosyltransferases involved in O-glycan biosynthesis on intestinal mucins have underscored the importance of mucin-type O-glycosylation in mucus barrier function. This review will highlight recent advances in our understanding of mucin-type O-glycan function in the mucus barrier and how they promote mutualism with our resident microbiota.
PMCID: PMC3858029  PMID: 23752712
intestinal homeostasis; microbiota; mucin; mucin-type O-glycans; colitis
15.  β-glucan signaling connects phagocytosis to autophagy 
Glycobiology  2013;23(9):1047-1051.
A growing list of innate immune receptors is being defined that recognize polysaccharides of microbial cell walls. Fungal β-glucan recognition by the receptor Dectin-1 triggers inflammatory immune responses in macrophages and dendritic cells that are appropriate for defense against fungal pathogens. Among these responses is the specific recruitment of the autophagy-related protein light chain 3 (LC3) to phagosomes containing fungi. Studies documenting LC3's recruitment to phagosomes containing β-glucan and other nonsugar particles suggest that LC3 plays a role in regulating phagocytosis and its related immunological responses.
PMCID: PMC3858030  PMID: 23749474
autophagy; C-type lectin; phagocytosis
16.  LC-MS and LC-MS/MS studies of incorporation of 34SO3 into glycosaminoglycan chains by sulfotransferases 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):969-979.
The specificities of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) modification enzymes, particularly sulfotransferases, and the locations and concentrations of these enzymes in the Golgi apparatus give rise to the mature GAG polysaccharides that bind protein ligands. We studied the substrate specificities of sulfotransferases with a stable isotopically labeled donor substrate, 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphosulfate. The sulfate incorporated by in vitro sulfation using recombinant sulfotransferases was easily distinguished from those previously present on the GAG chains using mass spectrometry. The enrichment of the [M + 2] isotopic peak caused by 34S incorporation, and the [M + 2]/[M + 1] ratio, provided reliable and sensitive measures of the degree of in vitro sulfation. It was found that both CHST3 and CHST15 have higher activities at the non-reducing end (NRE) units of chondroitin sulfate, particularly those terminating with a GalNAc monosaccharide. In contrast, both NDST1 and HS6ST1 showed lower activities at the NRE of heparan sulfate (HS) chains than at the interior of the chain. Contrary to the traditional view of HS biosynthesis processes, NDST1 also showed activity on O-sulfated GlcNAc residues.
PMCID: PMC3695753  PMID: 23696150
chondroitin sulfate; glycosaminoglycan; heparan sulfate; mass spectrometry; sulfotransferase
17.  Evidence for core 2 to core 1 O-glycan remodeling during the recycling of MUC1 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):935-945.
The apical transmembrane glycoprotein MUC1 is endocytosed to recycle through the trans-Golgi network (TGN) or Golgi complex to the plasma membrane. We followed the hypothesis that not only the known follow-up sialylation of MUC1 in the TGN is associated with this process, but also a remodeling of O-glycan core structures, which would explain the previously described differential core 2- vs core 1-based O-glycosylation of secreted, single Golgi passage and recycling membrane MUC1 isoforms (Engelmann K, Kinlough CL, Müller S, Razawi H, Baldus SE, Hughey RP, Hanisch F-G. 2005. Glycobiology. 15:1111–1124). Transmembrane and secreted MUC1 probes show trafficking-dependent changes in O-glycan core profiles. To address this novel observation, we used recombinant epitope-tagged MUC1 (MUC1-M) and mutant forms with abrogated clathrin-mediated endocytosis (MUC1-M-Y20,60N) or blocked recycling (palmitoylation-defective MUC1-M-CQC/AQA). We show that the CQC/AQA mutant transits the TGN at significantly lower levels, concomitant with a strongly reduced shedding from the plasma membrane and its accumulation in endosomal compartments. Intriguingly, the O-glycosylation of the shed MUC1 ectodomain subunit changes from preponderant sialylated core 1 (MUC1-M) to core 2 glycans on the non-recycling CQC/AQA mutant. The O-glycoprofile of the non-recycling CQC/AQA mutant resembles the core 2 glycoprofile on a secretory MUC1 probe that transits the Golgi complex only once. In contrast, the MUC1-M-Y20,60N mutant recycles via flotillin-dependent pathways and shows the wild-type phenotype with dominant core 1 expression. Differential radiolabeling of protein with [35S]Met/Cys or glycans with [3H]GlcNH2 in pulse-chase experiments of surface biotinylated MUC1 revealed a significantly shorter half-life of [3H]MUC1 when compared with [35S]MUC1, whereas the same ratio for the CQC/AQA mutant was close to one. This finding further supports the novel possibility of a recycling-associated O-glycan processing from Gal1-4GlcNAc1-6(Gal1-3)GalNAc (core 2) to Gal1-3GalNAc (core 1).
PMCID: PMC3695752  PMID: 23640779
glycan processing; membrane trafficking; MUC1; O-glycosylation; recycling
18.  Characterization of a trifunctional glucosyltransferase essential for Moraxella catarrhalis lipooligosaccharide assembly 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):1013-1021.
The human respiratory tract pathogen Moraxella catarrhalis expresses lipooligosaccharides (LOS), glycolipid surface moieties that are associated with enhanced colonization and virulence. Recent studies have delineated the major steps required for the biosynthesis and assembly of the M. catarrhalis LOS molecule. We previously demonstrated that the glucosyltransferase enzyme Lgt3 is responsible for the addition of at least one glucose (Glc) molecule, at the β-(1-4) position, to the inner core of the LOS molecule. Our data further suggested a potential multifunctional role for Lgt3 in LOS biosynthesis. The studies reported here demonstrate that the Lgt3 enzyme possesses two glycosyltransferase domains (A1 and A2) similar to that of other bifunctional glycosyltransferase enzymes involved in surface polysaccharide biosynthesis in Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus pyogenes. Each Lgt3 domain contains a conserved DXD motif, shown to be involved in the catalytic activity of other glycosyltransferases. To determine the function of each domain, A1 (N-terminal), A2 (C-terminal) and double A1A2 site-directed DAD to AAA mutants were constructed and the resulting LOS phenotypes of these modified strains were analyzed. Our studies indicate that the Lgt3 N-terminal A1 catalytic domain is responsible for the addition of the first β-(1-3) Glc to the first Glc on the inner core. The C-terminal catalytic domain A2 then adds the β-(1-4) Glc and the β-(1-6) Glc, confirming the bifunctional nature of this domain. The results from these experiments demonstrate that Lgt3 is a novel, multifunctional transferase responsible for the addition of three Glcs with differing linkages onto the inner core of M. catarrhalis LOS.
PMCID: PMC3695755  PMID: 23720461
glucosyltransferase; lipooligosaccharide; Moraxella catarrhalis; trifunctional
19.  Metabolic glycoengineering of mesenchymal stromal cells with N-propanoylmannosamine 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):1004-1012.
There is an increasing interest in the modification of cell surface glycosylation to improve the properties of therapeutic cells. For example, glycosylation affects the biodistribution of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Metabolic glycoengineering is an efficient way to modify the cell surface. The mammalian biosynthetic machinery tolerates the unnatural sialic acid precursor, N-propanoylmannosamine (ManNProp), and incorporates it into cell surface glycoconjugates. We show here by mass spectrometric analysis of cell surface N-glycans that about half of N-acetylneuraminic acid was replaced by N-propanoylneuraminic acid in the N-glycans of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs supplemented with ManNProp. In addition, the N-glycan profile was altered. ManNProp-supplemented cells had more multiply fucosylated N-glycan species than control cells. The fucosylated epitopes were shown in tandem mass spectrometric analysis to be Lewis x or blood group H epitopes, but not sialyl Lewis x (sLex). The amounts of tri- and tetra-antennary and polylactosamine-containing N-glycans also increased in ManNProp supplementation. In accordance with previous studies of other cell types, increased expression of the sLex epitope in ManNProp-supplemented MSCs was demonstrated by flow cytometry. In light of the N-glycan analysis, the sLex epitope in these cells is likely to be carried by O-glycans or glycolipids. sLex has been shown to target MSCs to bone marrow, which may be desirable in therapeutic applications. The present results represent the first structural analysis of an N-glycome of ManNProp-supplemented cells and demonstrate the feasibility of modifying cell surface glycosylation of therapeutic cells by this type of metabolic glycoengineering.
PMCID: PMC3695754  PMID: 23708401
glycoengineering; mesenchymal stromal cell; N-propanoylmannosamine; sialic acid; umbilical cord blood
20.  Changes in the major cell envelope components of Mycobacterium tuberculosis during in vitro growth 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):926-934.
One-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), which causes tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell envelope components such as glycolipids, lipoglycans and polysaccharides play important roles in bacteria–host cell interactions that dictate the host immune response. However, little is known about the changes in the amounts and types of these cell envelope components as the bacillus divides during in vitro culture. To shed light on these phenomena, we examined growth-dependent changes over time in major cell envelope components of virulent M.tb by using sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, thin-layer chromatography, mass spectrometry, immunoblotting and flow cytometry. Our studies provide evidence that major mannosylated glycoconjugates on the M.tb cell envelope change as M.tb grows in vitro on the widely used Middlebrook 7H11 agar. In particular, our compositional analyses show that from Day 9 to 28 the amounts of mannose-containing molecules, such as mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan, lipomannan and phosphatidyl-myo-inositol mannosides, change continuously in both the cell envelope and outer cell surface. Along with these changes, mannan levels on the outer cell surface also increase significantly over time. The implications of these differences in terms of how M.tb is grown for studies performed in vitro and in vivo for assessing M.tb-host recognition and establishment of infection are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3695751  PMID: 23576535
cell envelope components; LAM; LM; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; PIMs
21.  Defining the conformation of human mincle that interacts with mycobacterial trehalose dimycolate 
Glycobiology  2014;24(12):1291-1300.
Trehalose dimycolate, an unusual glycolipid in the outer membrane of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, stimulates macrophages by binding to the macrophage receptor mincle. This stimulation plays an important role both in infection by mycobacteria and in the use of derivatives of mycobacteria as adjuvants to enhance the immune response. The mechanism of trehalose dimycolate binding to the C-type carbohydrate-recognition domain in human mincle has been investigated using a series of synthetic analogs of trehalose dimycolate and site-directed mutagenesis of the human protein. The results support a mechanism of binding acylated trehalose derivatives to human mincle that is very similar to the mechanism of binding to bovine mincle, in which one glucose residue in the trehalose headgroup of the glycolipid is ligated to the principle Ca2+-binding site in the carbohydrate-recognition domain, with specificity for the disaccharide resulting from interactions with the second glucose residue. Acyl chains attached to the 6-OH groups of trehalose enhance affinity, with the affinity dependent on the length of the acyl chains and the presence of a hydrophobic groove adjacent to the sugar-binding sites. The results indicate that the available crystal structure of the carbohydrate-recognition domain of human mincle is unlikely to be in a fully active conformation. Instead, the ligand-binding conformation probably resembles closely the structure observed for bovine mincle in complex with trehalose. These studies provide a basis for targeting human mincle as a means of inhibiting interactions with mycobacteria and as an approach to harnessing the ability of mincle to stimulate the immune response.
PMCID: PMC4211601  PMID: 25028392
C-type lectin; glycan-binding receptor; glycolipid; mincle; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
23.  Development and characterization of a specific IgG monoclonal antibody toward the Lewis x antigen using splenocytes of Schistosoma mansoni-infected mice 
Glycobiology  2013;23(7):877-892.
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.
PMCID: PMC3671776  PMID: 23542315
glycans; helminth; Lewis x antigen; monoclonal antibody; Schistosoma mansoni
24.  Lack of galectin-1 or galectin-3 alters B cell deletion and anergy in an autoantibody transgene model 
Glycobiology  2013;23(7):893-903.
Members of the galectin family of proteins have been shown to regulate the development and the function of immune cells. We previously identified the increased expression of galectin-1 and galectin-3 mRNA and protein in anergic B cells relative to their naïve counterparts. To investigate the role of these galectins in maintaining B cell tolerance, we crossed mice deficient in galectin-1 or galectin-3 with mice bearing a lupus autoantigen-binding transgenic (Tg) B cell receptor, using a model with a well-characterized B cell tolerance phenotype of deletion, receptor editing and anergy. Here, we present data showing that the global knockout of galectin-1 or galectin-3 yields subtle alterations in B cell fate in autoantibody Tg mice. The absence of galectin-3 leads to a significant increase in the number of Tg spleen B cells, with the recovery of anti-laminin antibodies from a subset of mice. The B cell number increases further in antibody Tg mice with the dual deficiency of both galectin-1 and galectin-3. Isolated galectin-1 deficiency significantly enhances the proliferation of Tg B cells in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. These findings add to the growing body of evidence indicating a role for the various galectin family members, and for galectins 1 and 3 in particular, in the regulation of autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC3671777  PMID: 23550149
autoimmunity; CD86; CD62L; humoral immunity; MHCII
25.  Chemoenzymatic synthesis of glycosaminoglycans: Re-creating, re-modeling and re-designing nature's longest or most complex carbohydrate chains 
Glycobiology  2013;23(7):764-777.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are complex polysaccharides composed of hexosamine-containing disaccharide repeating units. The three most studied classes of GAGs, heparin/heparan sulfate, hyaluronan and chondroitin/dermatan sulfate, are essential macromolecules. GAGs isolated from animal and microbial sources have been utilized therapeutically, but naturally occurring GAGs are extremely heterogeneous limiting further development of these agents. These molecules pose difficult targets to construct by classical organic syntheses due to the long chain lengths and complex patterns of modification by sulfation and epimerization. Chemoenzymatic synthesis, a process that employs exquisite enzyme catalysts and various defined precursors (e.g. uridine 5′-diphosphosphate-sugar donors, sulfate donors, acceptors and oxazoline precursors), promises to deliver homogeneous GAGs. This review covers both theoretical and practical issues of GAG oligosaccharide and polysaccharide preparation as single molecular entities and in library formats. Even at this early stage of technology development, nearly monodisperse GAGs can be made with either natural or artificial structures.
PMCID: PMC3671772  PMID: 23481097
chondroitin; epimerase; glycosaminoglycan; glycosyltransferase; heparan sulfate; heparin; hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid; libraries; microfluidics; oligosaccharide; polysaccharide; sulfatase; sulfotransferase; synthase; UDP-sugar

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