The trans-sialidase of Trypanosoma cruzi (TcTS) catalyzes the transfer of sialic acid from host glycoconjugates to terminal β-galactopyranosides in the mucins of the parasite. During infection, the enzyme is actively shed by the parasite to the bloodstream inducing hematological alterations. Lactitol prevents cell apoptosis caused by the TcTS, although it is rapidly eliminated from the circulatory system. Linear polyethyleneglycol (PEG) conjugates of lactose analogs were prepared but their clearance from blood was still quite fast. With the aim of improving their circulating half-lives in vivo, we now synthesized covalent conjugates of eight-arm PEG. The star-shape of these conjugates allows an increase in the molecular weight together with the loading of the active sugar. Two approaches were used for PEGylation of disaccharide derivatives containing β-d-Galp as the non-reducing unit. (1) Amide formation between benzyl β-d-galactopyranosyl-(1→6)-2-amino-2-deoxy-α-d-glucopyranoside and a succinimide-activated PEG. (2) Conjugation of lactobionolactone with amino end-functionalized PEG. Two 8-arm PEG derivatives (20 and 40 kDa) were used for each sugar. Substitution of all arms was proved by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The bioavailability of the conjugates in mice plasma was considerably improved with respect to the 5 kDa linear PEG conjugates retaining their inhibitory properties.
inhibitors; multiarm conjugates; PEGylation; trans-sialidase; Trypanosoma cruzi
Heparan sulfate (HS) 6-O-endosulfatase (Sulf) catalyzes the hydrolysis of 6-O-sulfo groups from HS polysaccharides. The resultant HS has reduced sulfation levels and displays altered biological activities. The Sulfs have been associated with several cancers and developmental problems and could function as a tool for editing specific HS structures. Here, we characterize the substrate specificity of human Sulf-2 using site-specifically radiolabeled synthetic polysaccharides. The enzyme was expressed and harvested from the conditioned medium of Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with Sulf-2 expression plasmids. The uniquely [35S]sulfated polysaccharides were prepared using purified recombinant HS biosynthetic enzymes. We found that Sulf-2 is particularly effective in removing the 6-O-sulfo group residing in the trisulfated disaccharide repeating unit comprising 2-O-sulfated uronic acid and N-sulfated 6-O-sulfo glucosamine, but can also hydrolyze sulfo groups from N- and 6-O-sulfated disaccharides. In addition, we found that Sulf-2 treatment significantly decreases HS's ability to bind to platelet factor 4 (PF4), a chemokine, while binding to antithrombin is maintained. Because HS–PF4 complexes are the initiating cause of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, this finding provides a promising strategy for developing heparin therapies with reduced side effects. Further understanding of Sulf-2 activity will help elucidate HS structure–function relationships and provide a valuable tool in tailoring HS-based anticoagulant drugs.
heparan sulfate; heparin; substrate specificity; sulfatase
Streptococcus equisimilis hyaluronan (HA) synthase (SeHAS) contains four cysteines (C226, C262, C281 and C367) that are conserved in the mammalian HAS family. Previous studies of single Cys-to-Ser and all possible Cys-to-Ala mutants of SeHAS found that: the Cys-null mutant is active, Cys modification inhibits HAS activity and the conserved cysteines are clustered at the membrane–enzyme interface in substrate-binding sites (Kumari K, Weigel PH. 2005. Identification of a membrane-localized cysteine cluster near the substrate binding sites of the Streptococcus equisimilis hyaluronan synthase. Glycobiology. 15:529–539). We re-examined these Cys mutants using a single technique (size exclusion chromatography–multi-angle laser light scattering) that allows simultaneous assays on the same sample for both HA synthesis activity and HA product size. Among 18 mutants compared with wild type, 4 showed no change in either function and 3 showed changes in both (decreased activity and HA size). Only one of the two functions was altered in 11 other mutants, which showed either decreased polymerizing activity or product size. No mutants made larger HA, 8 made smaller HA and 10 showed no change in HA size. Nine mutants showed no change in activity and nine were less active. The mutants fell into four of nine possible groups in terms of changes in HA size or synthesis rate (i.e. none, increased or decreased). Specific Cys residues were associated with each mutant group and the pattern of effects on both functions. Thus, the four conserved Cys residues, individually and in specific combinations, influence the rate of sugar assembly by HAS and HA product size, but their participation in one function is independent of the other.
active-site cysteines; elongation rate; polymer length; size control; size control model
Gangliosides—sialylated glycosphingolipids—are the major glycoconjugates of nerve cells. The same four structures—GM1, GD1a, GD1b and GT1b—comprise the great majority of gangliosides in mammalian brains. They share a common tetrasaccharide core (Galβ1–3GalNAcβ1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1′Cer) with one or two sialic acids on the internal galactose and zero (GM1 and GD1b) or one (GD1a and GT1b) α2–3-linked sialic acid on the terminal galactose. Whereas the genes responsible for the sialylation of the internal galactose are known, those responsible for terminal sialylation have not been established in vivo. We report that St3gal2 and St3gal3 are responsible for nearly all the terminal sialylation of brain gangliosides in the mouse. When brain ganglioside expression was analyzed in adult St3gal1-, St3gal2-, St3gal3- and St3gal4-null mice, only St3gal2-null mice differed significantly from wild type, expressing half the normal amount of GD1a and GT1b. St3gal1/2-double-null mice were no different than St3gal2-single-null mice; however, St3gal2/3-double-null mice were >95% depleted in gangliosides GD1a and GT1b. Total ganglioside expression (lipid-bound sialic acid) in the brains of St3gal2/3-double-null mice was equivalent to that in wild-type mice, whereas total protein sialylation was reduced by half. St3gal2/3-double-null mice were small, weak and short lived. They were half the weight of wild-type mice at weaning and displayed early hindlimb dysreflexia. We conclude that the St3gal2 and St3gal3 gene products (ST3Gal-II and ST3Gal-III sialyltransferases) are largely responsible for ganglioside terminal α2-3 sialylation in the brain, synthesizing the major brain gangliosides GD1a and GT1b.
brain; ganglioside; myelin; sialic acid; sialyltransferase
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are a family of structurally diverse unconjugated glycans that are highly abundant in and unique to human milk. Originally, HMOs were discovered as a prebiotic “bifidus factor” that serves as a metabolic substrate for desired bacteria and shapes an intestinal microbiota composition with health benefits for the breast-fed neonate. Today, HMOs are known to be more than just “food for bugs”. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that HMOs are antiadhesive antimicrobials that serve as soluble decoy receptors, prevent pathogen attachment to infant mucosal surfaces and lower the risk for viral, bacterial and protozoan parasite infections. In addition, HMOs may modulate epithelial and immune cell responses, reduce excessive mucosal leukocyte infiltration and activation, lower the risk for necrotizing enterocolitis and provide the infant with sialic acid as a potentially essential nutrient for brain development and cognition. Most data, however, stem from in vitro, ex vivo or animal studies and occasionally from association studies in mother–infant cohorts. Powered, randomized and controlled intervention studies will be needed to confirm relevance for human neonates. The first part of this review introduces the pioneers in HMO research, outlines HMO structural diversity and describes what is known about HMO biosynthesis in the mother's mammary gland and their metabolism in the breast-fed infant. The second part highlights the postulated beneficial effects of HMO for the breast-fed neonate, compares HMOs with oligosaccharides in the milk of other mammals and in infant formula and summarizes the current roadblocks and future opportunities for HMO research.
dietary glycans; infections; inflammation; nutrition; prebiotics
Slit3 is a large molecule with multiple domains and belongs to axon guidance families. To date, the biological functions of Slit3 are still largely unknown. Our recent study demonstrated that the N-terminal fragment of Slit3 is a novel angiogenic factor. In this study, we examined the biological function of the C-terminal fragment of human Slit3 (HSCF). The HSCF showed a high-affinity binding to heparin. The binding appeared to be heparin/heparan sulfate-specific and depends on the size, the degree of sulfation, the presence of N- and 6-O-sulfates and carboxyl moiety of the polysaccharide. Functional studies observed that HSCF inhibited antithrombin binding to heparin and neutralized the antifactor IIa and Xa activities of heparin and the antifactor IIa activity of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). Thromboelastography analysis observed that HSCF reversed heparin's anticoagulation in global plasma coagulation. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that HSCF is a novel heparin-binding protein that potently neutralizes heparin's anticoagulation activity. This study reveals a potential for HSCF to be developed as a new antidote to treat overdosing of both heparin and LMWH in clinical applications.
anticoagulation; antithrombin; heparin; neutralization; Slit3
Microbial immune evasion can be achieved through the expression, or mimicry, of host-like carbohydrates on the microbial cell surface to hide from detection. However, disparate reports collectively suggest that evasion could also be accomplished through the modulation of the host glycosylation pathways, a mechanism that we call the “Glyco-Evasion Hypothesis”. Here, we will summarize the evidence in support of this paradigm by reviewing three separate bodies of work present in the literature. We review how infection and inflammation can lead to host glycosylation changes, how host glycosylation changes can increase susceptibility to infection and inflammation and how glycosylation impacts molecular and cellular function. Then, using these data as a foundation, we propose a unifying hypothesis in which microbial products can hijack host glycosylation to manipulate the immune response to the advantage of the pathogen. This model reveals areas of research that we believe could significantly improve our fight against infectious disease.
glycosylation; immune evasion; infectious disease; major histocompatibility complex
Sialic-acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectins (Siglecs) are a family of transmembrane receptors that are well documented to play roles in regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. To see whether the features that define the molecular recognition of sialic acid were found in other sialic-acid-binding proteins, we analyzed 127 structures with bound sialic acids found in the Protein Data Bank database. Of these, the canine adenovirus 2-fiber knob protein showed close local structural relationship to Siglecs despite low sequence similarity. The fiber knob harbors a noncanonical sialic-acid recognition site, which was then explored for detailed specificity using a custom glycan microarray comprising 58 diverse sialosides. It was found that the adenoviral protein preferentially recognizes the epitope Neu5Acα2-3[6S]Galβ1-4GlcNAc, a structure previously identified as the preferred ligand for Siglec-8 in humans and Siglec-F in mice. Comparison of the Siglec and fiber knob sialic-acid-binding sites reveal conserved structural elements that are not clearly identifiable from the primary amino acid sequence, suggesting a Siglec-like sialic-acid-binding motif that comprises the consensus features of these proteins in complex with sialic acid.
adenovirus; sialic acid; Siglecs; structural glycobiology
Mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) is a complex lipoglycan abundantly present in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell envelope. Many biological properties have been ascribed to ManLAM, from directly interacting with the host and participating in the intracellular survival of M. tuberculosis, to triggering innate and adaptive immune responses, including the activation of CD1b-restricted T cells. Due to its structural complexity, ManLAM is considered a heterogeneous population of molecules which may explain its different biological properties. The presence of various modifications such as fatty acids, succinates, lactates, phosphoinositides and methylthioxylose in ManLAM have proven to correlate directly with its biological activity and may potentially be involved in the interactions between CD1b and the T cell population. To further delineate the specific ManLAM epitopes involved in CD1b-restricted T cell recognition, and their potential roles in mediating immune responses in M. tuberculosis infection, we established a method to resolve ManLAM into eight different isoforms based on their different isoelectric values. Our results show that a ManLAM isoform with an isoelectric value of 5.8 was the most potent in stimulating the production of interferon-γ in different CD1b-restricted T-cell lines. Compositional analyses of these isoforms of ManLAM revealed a direct relationship between the overall charge of the ManLAM molecule and its capacity to be presented to T cells via the CD1 compartment.
CD1b; lipoarabinomannan; lipoglycans; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; T cells
Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 is a naturally occurring, avirulent variant and close relative of the highly pathogenic B. anthracis Vollum. Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 contains both virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, yet is non-pathogenic in animal models, prompting closer scrutiny of the molecular basis of attenuation. We structurally characterized the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) of B. anthracis CDC 684 (Ba684) using chemical and NMR spectroscopy analysis. The SCWP consists of a HexNAc trisaccharide backbone having identical structure as that of B. anthracis Pasteur, Sterne and Ames, →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→. Remarkably, although the backbone is fully polymerized, the SCWP is the devoid of all galactosyl side residues, a feature which normally comprises 50% of the glycosyl residues on the highly galactosylated SCWPs from pathogenic strains. This observation highlights the role of defective wall assembly in virulence and indicates that polymerization occurs independently of galactose side residue attachment. Of particular interest, the polymerized Ba684 backbone retains the substoichiometric pyruvate acetal, O-acetate and amino group modifications found on SCWPs from normal B. anthracis strains, and immunofluorescence analysis confirms that SCWP expression coincides with the ability to bind the surface layer homology (SLH) domain containing S-layer protein extractable antigen-1. Pyruvate was previously demonstrated as part of a conserved epitope, mediating SLH-domain protein attachment to the underlying peptidoglycan layer. We find that a single repeating unit, located at the distal (non-reducing) end of the Ba684 SCWP, is structurally modified and that this modification is present in identical manner in the SCWPs of normal B. anthracis strains. These polysaccharides terminate in the sequence: (S)-4,6-O-(1-carboxyethylidene)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-[3-O-acetyl]-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNH2-(1→.
Bacillus anthracis; cell wall; polysaccharide; pyruvylation; structure
The heavily O-glycosylated mucin MUC2 constitutes the major protein in the mucosal layer that acts as a physical barrier protecting the epithelial layer in the colon. In this study, Muc2 was purified from mucosal scrapings from the colon of wild-type (WT) mice, core 3 transferase knockout (C3Gnt−/−) mice and intestinal epithelial cell-specific core 1 knockout (IEC C1Galt1−/−) mice. The Muc2 O-glycans were released by reductive β-elimination and analyzed with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in the negative-ion mode. Muc2 from the distal colon of WT and C3Gnt−/− knockout mice carried a mixture of core 1- or core 2-type glycans, whereas Muc2 from IEC C1Galt1−/− mice carried highly sialylated core 3- and core 4-type glycans. A large portion of NeuAc in all mouse models was positioned on disialylated N-acetyllactosamine units, an epitope not reported on human colonic MUC2. Mass spectra and proton NMR spectroscopy revealed an abundant NeuAc linked to internally positioned N-acetylglucosamine on colonic murine Muc2, which also differs markedly from human MUC2. Our results highlight that murine colonic Muc2 O-glycosylation is substantially different from human MUC2, which could be one explanation for the different commensal microbiota of these two species.
LC; mass spectrometry; mucin; murine; O-glycosylation
The 300-kDa cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR) plays an essential role in the biogenesis of lysosomes by delivering newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes from the trans Golgi network to the endosomal system. The CI-MPR is expressed in most eukaryotes, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans being notable exceptions. Although the repertoire of glycans recognized by the bovine receptor has been studied extensively, little is known concerning the ligand-binding properties of the CI-MPR from non-mammalian species. To assess the evolutionary conservation of the CI-MPR, surface plasmon resonance analyses using lysosomal enzymes with defined N-glycans were carried out to probe the glycan-binding specificity of the Danio rerio CI-MPR. The results demonstrate that the D. rerio CI-MPR harbors three glycan-binding sites that, like the bovine CI-MPR, map to domains 3, 5 and 9 of its 15-domain-containing extracytoplasmic region. Analyses on a phosphorylated glycan microarray further demonstrated the unique binding properties of each of the three sites and showed that, similar to the bovine CI-MPR, only domain 5 of the D. rerio CI-MPR is capable of recognizing Man-P-GlcNAc-containing glycans.
glycans; lectin; lysosome; receptor
Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are information-bearing biomolecules that play critical roles in embryonic development, signal transduction and carcinogenesis. Previous studies indicate that certain GSLs are associated with differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. In this study, we collected bone marrow samples from healthy donors and AML patients and analyzed the GSL expression profiles comprehensively using electrospray ionization linear ion-trap mass spectrometry. The results showed that AML patients had higher expression of the GSL lactotriaosylceramide (Lc3), GM3 and neolactotetraosylceramide (nLc4) in their bone marrow than did the healthy donors (P < 0.05), especially the M1 subtype of AML. To further explore the molecular mechanisms of Lc3, we examined the expression of the Lc3 synthase β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase5 (β3Gn-T5) and found that the bone marrow samples of AML patients had 16-fold higher expression of β3Gn-T5 than those of healthy donors (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that AML-associated GSLs Lc3, GM3 and nLc4 are possibly involved in initiation and differentiation of AML.
acute myeloid leukemia; glycosphingolipidomics; lactotriaosylceramide; Lc3 synthase; mass spectrometry
Genome sequence data were used to clone and express two sialyltransferase enzymes of the GT-42 family from Helicobacter acinonychis ATCC 51104, a gastric disease isolate from Cheetahs. The deposited genome sequence for these genes contains a large number of tandem repeat sequences in each of them: HAC1267 (RQKELE)15 and HAC1268 (EEKLLEFKNI)13. We obtained two clones with different numbers of repeat sequences for the HAC1267 gene homolog and a single clone for the HAC1268 gene homolog. Both genes could be expressed in Escherichia coli and sialyltransferase activity was measured using synthetic acceptor substrates containing a variety of terminal sugars. Both enzymes were shown to have a preference for N-acetyllactosamine, and they each made a product with a different linkage to the terminal galactose. HAC1267 is a mono-functional α2,3-sialyltransferase, whereas HAC1268 is a mono-functional α2,6-sialyltransferase and is the first member of GT-42 to show α2,6-sialyltransferase activity.
glycosyltransferase; Helicobacter; sialyltransferase
The formation of mucin-type O-glycans is initiated by an evolutionarily conserved family of enzymes, the UDP-N-acetyl-α-d-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts). The human genome encodes 20 transferases; 17 of which have been characterized functionally. The complexity of the GalNAc-T family reflects the differential patterns of expression among the individual enzyme isoforms and the unique substrate specificities which are required to form the dense arrays of glycans that are essential for mucin function. We report the expression patterns and enzymatic activity of the remaining three members of the family and the further characterization of a recently reported isoform, GalNAc-T17. One isoform, GalNAcT-16 that is most homologous to GalNAc-T14, is widely expressed (abundantly in the heart) and has robust polypeptide transferase activity. The second isoform GalNAc-T18, most similar to GalNAc-T8, -T9 and -T19, completes a discrete subfamily of GalNAc-Ts. It is widely expressed and has low, albeit detectable, activity. The final isoform, GalNAc-T20, is most homologous to GalNAc-T11 but lacks a lectin domain and has no detectable transferase activity with the panel of substrates tested. We have also identified and characterized enzymatically active splice variants of GalNAc-T13 that differ in the sequence of their lectin domain. The variants differ in their affinities for glycopeptide substrates. Our findings provide a comprehensive view of the complexities of mucin-type O-glycan formation and provide insight into the underlying mechanisms employed to heavily decorate mucins and mucin-like domains with carbohydrate.
GaNAcT; splice variants; enzyme activity; expression analysis
Glycosides of hydroxyproline (Hyp) in the plant cell wall matrix were discovered by Lamport and co-workers in the 1960s. Since then, much has been learned about these Hyp-rich glycoproteins. The intent of this review was to compare and contrast some less common structural motifs, in nontraditional roles, to uncover themes. Arabinosylation of short-peptide plant hormones is essential for growth, cell differentiation and defense. In a very recent development, prolyl hydroxylase and arabinosyltransferase activity has been shown to have a direct impact on the growth of root hairs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen allergens of mugwort and ragweed contain proline-rich domains that are hydroxylated and glycosylated and play a structural role. In the case of mugwort, this domain also presents a significant immunogenic epitope. Major crops, including tobacco and maize, have been used to express and produce recombinant proteins of mammalian origin. The risks of plant-imposed glycosylation are discussed. In unicellular eukaryotes, Skp1 (a subunit of the E3SCF ubiquitin ligase complex) harbors a key Hyp residue that is modified by a linear pentasaccharide. These modifications may be involved in sensing oxygen levels. A few studies have probed the impact of glycosylation on the structure of Hyp-containing peptides. These have necessarily looked at small, synthetic molecules, since natural peptides and proteins are often isolable in only minuscule amounts and/or are heterogeneous in nature. The characterization of native structural motifs, together with the determination of glycopeptide conformation and properties, holds the key to rationalizing nature's architectural design.
glycosylation; hydroxyproline; peptide conformation
The conserved oligomeric Golgi complex (COG) is a hetero-octomeric peripheral membrane protein required for retrograde vesicular transport and glycoconjugate biosynthesis within the Golgi. Mutations in subunits 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are the basis for a rare inheritable human disease termed congenital disorders of glycosylation type-II. Defects to COG complex function result in aberrant glycosylation, protein trafficking and Golgi structure. The cellular function of the COG complex and its role in protein glycosylation are not completely understood. In this study, we report the first detailed structural analysis of N-glycans from a COG complex-deficient organism. We employed sequential ion trap mass spectrometry of permethylated N-glycans to demonstrate that the COG complex is essential for the formation of fucose-rich N-glycans, specifically antennae fucosylated structures in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results support the supposition that disruption to the COG complex interferes with normal protein glycosylation in the medial and/or trans-Golgi.
C. elegans; conserved oligomeric Golgi complex; fucosylation; N-glycosylation; sequential ion trap mass spectrometry
Interactions between proteins and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) of the extracellular matrix are important to the regulation of cellular processes including growth, differentiation and migration. Understanding these processes can benefit greatly from the study of protein–GAG interactions using GAG oligosaccharides of well-defined structure. Materials for such studies have, however, been difficult to obtain because of challenges in synthetic approaches and the extreme structural heterogeneity in GAG polymers. Here, it is demonstrated that diversity in structures of oligosaccharides derived by limited enzymatic digestion of materials from natural sources can be greatly curtailed by a proper selection of combinations of source materials and digestive enzymes, a process aided by an improved understanding of the specificities of certain commercial preparations of hydrolases and lyases. Separation of well-defined oligosaccharides can then be accomplished by size-exclusion chromatography followed by strong anion-exchange chromatography. We focus here on two types of chondroitin sulfate (CS) as starting material (CS-A, and CS-C) and the use of three digestive enzymes with varying specificities (testicular hyaluronidase and bacterial chondroitinases ABC and C). Analysis using nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry focuses on isolated CS disaccharides and hexasaccharides. In all, 15 CS hexasaccharides have been isolated and characterized. These serve as useful contributions to growing libraries of well-defined GAG oligosaccharides that can be used in further biophysical assays.
chondroitin sulfate; chondroitinase; enzymatic specificity; hyaluronidase; oligosaccharides
Glycosylation of proteins is an essential process in all eukaryotes and a great diversity in types of protein glycosylation exists in animals, plants and microorganisms. Mucin-type O-glycosylation, consisting of glycans attached via O-linked N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) to serine and threonine residues, is one of the most abundant forms of protein glycosylation in animals. Although most protein glycosylation is controlled by one or two genes encoding the enzymes responsible for the initiation of glycosylation, i.e. the step where the first glycan is attached to the relevant amino acid residue in the protein, mucin-type O-glycosylation is controlled by a large family of up to 20 homologous genes encoding UDP-GalNAc:polypeptide GalNAc-transferases (GalNAc-Ts) (EC 188.8.131.52). Therefore, mucin-type O-glycosylation has the greatest potential for differential regulation in cells and tissues. The GalNAc-T family is the largest glycosyltransferase enzyme family covering a single known glycosidic linkage and it is highly conserved throughout animal evolution, although absent in bacteria, yeast and plants. Emerging studies have shown that the large number of genes (GALNTs) in the GalNAc-T family do not provide full functional redundancy and single GalNAc-T genes have been shown to be important in both animals and human. Here, we present an overview of the GalNAc-T gene family in animals and propose a classification of the genes into subfamilies, which appear to be conserved in evolution structurally as well as functionally.
GalNAc-T; GalNAc-transferase; GALNT; monoclonal antibodies; O-glycoproteins; O-glycosylation
α-Dystroglycan (DG) is a key component of the dystrophin–glycoprotein complex. Aberrant glycosylation of the protein has been linked to various forms of congenital muscular dystrophy. Unusually α-DG has previously been demonstrated to be modified with both O-N-acetylgalactosamine and O-mannose initiated glycans. In the present study, Fc-tagged recombinant mouse α-DG was expressed and purified from human embryonic kidney 293T cells. α-DG glycopeptides were characterized by glycoproteomic strategies using both nano-liquid chromatography matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. A total of 14 different peptide sequences and 38 glycopeptides were identified which displayed heterogeneous O-glycosylation. These data provide new insights into the complex domain-specific O-glycosylation of α-DG.
α-dystroglycan; glycoproteomics; mass spectrometry; O-GalNAc; O-mannose
CpGH89 is a family 89 glycoside hydrolase with exo-α-d-N-acetylglucosaminidase activity that is produced by the human and animal pathogen Clostridium perfringens. This enzyme is active on the α-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 4)-d-Galp motif that is displayed on the class III mucins within the gastric mucosa. Other members of this enzyme family, such as human NAGLU, are active on heparan. A truncated version of CpGH89 was rendered inactive through the mutation of two key catalytic residues, the protein crystallized and its structure determined in complex with α-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 4)-d-Galp to reveal the molecular details of how this unique disaccharide is recognized by CpGH89. An analysis of this substrate complex not only provides insight into how this enzyme selects for its mucin-presented substrate but also advances our understanding of how its clinically relevant mammalian counterparts are specific for heparan.
carbohydrate-active enzyme; glycoside hydrolase; heparin; mucin; NAGLU
Galectins have a highly conserved carbohydrate-binding domain to which a variety of galactose-containing saccharides, both β- and α-galactosides, can interact with varying degrees of affinity. Recently, we demonstrated that the relatively large α(1 → 6)-d-galacto-β(1 → 4)-d-mannan (Davanat) binds galectin-1 (gal-1) primarily at an alternative carbohydrate-binding domain. Here, we used a series of α-galactomannans (GMs) that vary in their mannose-to-galactose ratios for insight into an optimal structural signature for GM binding to gal-1. Heteronuclear single-quantum coherence nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with 15N-labeled gal-1 and statistical modeling suggest that the optimal signature consists of α-d-galactopyranosyl doublets surrounded by regions of about four or more “naked” mannose residues. These relatively large and complex GMs all appear to interact with varying degrees at essentially the same binding surface on gal-1 that includes the Davanat alternative binding site and elements of the canonical β-galactoside-binding region. The use of two small, well-defined GMs [61-α(1 → 6)-d-galactosyl-β-d-mannotriaose and 63,64-di-α(1 → 6)-d-galactosyl-β-d-mannopentaose] helped characterize how GMs, in general, interact in part with the canonical site. Overall, our findings contribute to better understanding interactions of gal-1 with larger, complex polysaccharides and to the development of GM-based therapeutics for clinical use.
galactose; glycan; lectin; NMR; protein
CD175 or Tn antigen is a carbohydrate moiety of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)α1-O- linked to the residue of amino acid serine or threonine in a polypeptide chain. Despite the chemical simplicity of the Tn antigen, its antigenic structure is considered to be complex and the clear determinants of Tn antigenicity remain poorly understood. As a consequence, a broad variety of anti-Tn monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been generated. To further investigate the nature and complexity of the Tn antigen, we generated seven different anti-Tn mAbs of IgM and IgG classes raised against human Jurkat T cells, which are Tn-positive due to the low activity of T-synthase and mutation in specific chaperone Cosmc. The binding analysis of anti-Tn mAbs with the array of synthetic saccharides, glycopeptides and O-glycoproteins revealed unexpected differences in specificities of anti-Tn mAbs. IgM mAbs bound the terminal GalNAc residue of the Tn antigen irrespective of the peptide context or with low selectivity to the glycoproteins. In contrast, IgG mAbs recognized the Tn antigen in the context of a specific peptide motif. Particularly, JA3 mAb reacted to the GSPP or GSPAPP, and JA5 mAb recognized specifically the GSP motif (glycosylation sites are underlined). The major O-glycan carrier proteins CD43 and CD162 and isoforms of CD45 expressed on Jurkat cells were precipitated by anti-Tn mAbs with different affinities. In summary, our data suggest that Tn antigen–Ab binding capacity is determined by the peptide context of the Tn antigen, antigenic specificity of the Ab and class of the immunoglobulin. The newly generated anti-Tn IgG mAbs with the strong specificity to glycoprotein CD43 can be particularly interesting for the application in leukemia diagnostics and therapy.
CD43; CD45; CD162; glycopeptide array; monoclonal antibodies; Tn antigen
Hendra virus (HeV) continues to cause morbidity and mortality in both humans and horses with a number of sporadic outbreaks. HeV has two structural membrane glycoproteins that mediate the infection of host cells: the attachment (G) and the fusion (F) glycoproteins that are essential for receptor binding and virion-host cell membrane fusion, respectively. N-linked glycosylation of viral envelope proteins are critical post-translation modifications that have been implicated in roles of structural integrity, virus replication and evasion of the host immune response. Deciphering the glycan composition and structure on these glycoproteins may assist in the development of glycan-targeted therapeutic intervention strategies. We examined the site occupancy and glycan composition of recombinant soluble G (sG) glycoproteins expressed in two different mammalian cell systems, transient human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells and vaccinia virus (VV)-HeLa cells, using a suite of biochemical and biophysical tools: electrophoresis, lectin binding and tandem mass spectrometry. The N-linked glycans of both VV and HEK293-derived sG glycoproteins carried predominantly mono- and disialylated complex-type N-glycans and a smaller population of high mannose-type glycans. All seven consensus sequences for N-linked glycosylation were definitively found to be occupied in the VV-derived protein, whereas only four sites were found and characterized in the HEK293-derived protein. We also report, for the first time, the existence of O-linked glycosylation sites in both proteins. The striking characteristic of both proteins was glycan heterogeneity in both N- and O-linked sites. The structural features of G protein glycosylation were also determined by X-ray crystallography and interactions with the ephrin-B2 receptor are discussed.
glycopeptides; Hendra virus (HeV); mass spectrometry; N- and O-linked glycosylation
Advances in glycan array technology have provided opportunities to automatically and systematically characterize the binding specificities of glycan-binding proteins. However, there is still a lack of robust methods for such analyses. In this study, we developed a novel quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) method to analyze glycan array data. We first decomposed glycan chains into mono-, di-, tri- or tetrasaccharide subtrees. The bond information was incorporated into subtrees to help distinguish glycan chain structures. Then, we performed partial least-squares (PLS) regression on glycan array data using the subtrees as features. The application of QSAR to the glycan array data of different glycan-binding proteins demonstrated that PLS regression using subtree features can obtain higher R2 values and a higher percentage of variance explained in glycan array intensities. Based on the regression coefficients of PLS, we were able to effectively identify subtrees that indicate the binding specificities of a glycan-binding protein. Our approach will facilitate the glycan-binding specificity analysis using the glycan array. A user-friendly web tool of the QSAR method is available at http://bci.clemson.edu/tools/glycan_array.
glycan array; PLS; QSAR