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1.  Roles of retinoic acid-inducible gene-I-like receptors (RLRs), Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and 2′-5′ oligoadenylate synthetase as viral recognition receptors on human mast cells in response to viral infection 
Immunologic Research  2014;61(3):240-249.
To investigate the anti-viral responses of human mast cells, we performed PCR array analysis of these cells after infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). PCR array analysis revealed that human mast cells up-regulated several anti-viral genes, including melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I, and Toll-like receptor 3, together with type I interferons and chemokines, upon VSV infection. Additionally, we found that 2′-5′ oligoadenylate synthetase, which also works as a virus recognition receptor by activating the latent form of RNase L, leading to viral RNA degradation, was up-regulated in human mast cells upon VSV infection. Moreover, small interfering RNA analysis to identify the receptors responsible for mast cell activation by VSV revealed that these receptors reciprocally cooperate to produce anti-viral cytokines and chemokines, inhibiting VSV replication. Our findings suggest that human mast cells produce cytokines and chemokines using several viral recognition receptors, leading to the inhibition of viral replication. These data provide novel information that improves our understanding of the roles of human mast cells in immune responses against viruses.
PMCID: PMC4336646  PMID: 25550087
Mast cells; Virus; Retinoic acid-inducible gene-I-like receptors; Toll-like receptors; 2′-5′ Oligoadenylate synthetase
2.  Role of high endothelial venule-expressed heparan sulfate in chemokine presentation and lymphocyte homing1 
Lymphocyte homing to peripheral lymph nodes (PLNs) is mediated by multi-step interactions between lymphocytes and high endothelial venules (HEVs). Heparan sulfate (HS) has been implicated in the presentation of chemokines on the surface of HEVs during this process. However, it remains unclear whether this cell surface presentation is a prerequisite for lymphocyte homing. In this paper, we generated conditional knockout (cKO) mice lacking Ext1, which encodes a glycosyltransferase essential for HS synthesis, by crossing Ext1flox/flox mice with GlcNAc6ST-2-Cre transgenic mice expressing Cre recombinase in HEVs. Immunohistochemical studies indicated that HS expression was specifically eliminated in PLN HEVs but retained in other blood vessels in the cKO mice. The accumulation of a major secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine, CCL21, on HEVs was also abrogated without affecting CCL21 mRNA levels, indicating that HS presents CCL21 on HEVs in vivo. Notably, a short-term lymphocyte homing assay indicated that lymphocyte homing to PLNs was diminished in the cKO mice by 30 to 40%. Consistent with this result, contact hypersensitivity responses were also diminished in the cKO mice. The residual lymphocyte homing to PLNs in the cKO mice was dependent on pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi protein signaling, in which lysophosphatidic acid-mediated signaling was partly involved. These results suggest that chemokine presentation by HS on the surface of HEVs facilitates but is not absolutely required for lymphocyte homing.
PMCID: PMC3694755  PMID: 23733868
3.  Determination of Carbohydrate Structure Recognized by Prostate-specific F77 Monoclonal Antibody through Expression Analysis of Glycosyltransferase Genes* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2014;289(23):16478-16486.
Background: Monoclonal antibody F77 raised against the PC-3 cells recognizes human prostate cancers.
Results: Co-transfections with glycosyltransferase genes showed that FUT1 and one of GCNT1, GCNT2, or GCNT3 are necessary for F77 antigen expression in mammalian cells.
Conclusion: F77 antigen is expressed on glycan structures composed of Fucα1→2Galβ1→4GlcNAcβ1→6Gal/GalNAc.
Significance: Defining the F77 epitope provides a basis for clinical applications of this antibody.
This study reports the determination of the carbohydrate epitope of monoclonal antibody F77 previously raised against human prostate cancer PC-3 cells (Zhang, G., Zhang, H., Wang, Q., Lal, P., Carroll, A. M., de la Llera-Moya, M., Xu, X., and Greene, M. I. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 107, 732–737). We performed a series of co-transfections using mammalian expression vectors encoding specific glycosyltransferases. We thereby identified branching enzymes and FUT1 (required for Fucα1→2Gal linkage) as being essential for F77 antigen formation. When immortalized normal prostate 267B1 cells were transfected with FUT1 alone, cells showed weak expression of F77 antigen. By contrast, cells co-transfected with FUT1 plus either GCNT1, GCNT2, or GCNT3 (an enzyme required to form GlcNAcβ1→6Gal/GalNAc) showed robust F77 antigen expression, suggesting that F77 specifically binds to Fucα1→2Galβ1→4GlcNAcβ1→6Gal/GalNAc. RT-PCR for FUT1, GCNT1, GCNT2, and GCNT3 showed that F77-positive cell lines indeed express transcripts encoding FUT1 plus one GCNT. F77-positive prostate cancer cells transfected with siRNAs targeting FUT1, GCNT2, and GCNT3 showed significantly reduced F77 antigen, confirming the requirement of these enzymes for epitope synthesis. We also found that hypoxia induces F77 epitope expression in immortalized prostate RWPE1 cells, which express F77 antigen moderately under normoxia but at an elevated level under hypoxia. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated up-regulation of FUT1, GCNT2, and GCNT3 transcripts in RWPE1 cells under hypoxia, suggesting that hypoxia up-regulates glycosyltransferase expression required for F77 antigen synthesis. These results define the F77 epitope and provide a potential mechanism for F77 antigen synthesis in malignant prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4047414  PMID: 24753248
Antigen; Carbohydrate Biosynthesis; Carbohydrate Structure; Glycobiology; Glycosyltransferase; Biomarker of Epithelial Cancer Cell; Cancer-associated Carbohydrate Antigen
4.  Helicobacter pylori Cholesteryl α-Glucosides Contribute to Its Pathogenicity and Immune Response by Natural Killer T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e78191.
Approximately 10–15% of individuals infected with Helicobacter pylori will develop ulcer disease (gastric or duodenal ulcer), while most people infected with H. pylori will be asymptomatic. The majority of infected individuals remain asymptomatic partly due to the inhibition of synthesis of cholesteryl α-glucosides in H. pylori cell wall by α1,4-GlcNAc-capped mucin O-glycans, which are expressed in the deeper portion of gastric mucosa. However, it has not been determined how cholesteryl α-glucosyltransferase (αCgT), which forms cholesteryl α-glucosides, functions in the pathogenesis of H. pylori infection. Here, we show that the activity of αCgT from H. pylori clinical isolates is highly correlated with the degree of gastric atrophy. We investigated the role of cholesteryl α-glucosides in various aspects of the immune response. Phagocytosis and activation of dendritic cells were observed at similar degrees in the presence of wild-type H. pylori or variants harboring mutant forms of αCgT showing a range of enzymatic activity. However, cholesteryl α-glucosides were recognized by invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, eliciting an immune response in vitro and in vivo. Following inoculation of H. pylori harboring highly active αCgT into iNKT cell-deficient (Jα18−/−) or wild-type mice, bacterial recovery significantly increased in Jα18−/− compared to wild-type mice. Moreover, cytokine production characteristic of Th1 and Th2 cells dramatically decreased in Jα18−/− compared to wild-type mice. These findings demonstrate that cholesteryl α-glucosides play critical roles in H. pylori-mediated gastric inflammation and precancerous atrophic gastritis.
PMCID: PMC3846475  PMID: 24312443
5.  Beta-Hemolysin Promotes Skin Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(6):1194-1203.
Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus is a characteristic feature of several inflammatory skin diseases and is often followed by epidermal damage and invasive infection. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of skin colonization by a virulent community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) strain, MW2, using a murine ear colonization model. MW2 does not produce a hemolytic toxin, beta-hemolysin (Hlb), due to integration of a prophage, ϕSa3mw, inside the toxin gene (hlb). However, we found that strain MW2 bacteria that had successfully colonized murine ears included derivatives that produced Hlb. Genome sequencing of the Hlb-producing colonies revealed that precise excision of prophage ϕSa3mw occurred, leading to reconstruction of the intact hlb gene in their chromosomes. To address the question of whether Hlb is involved in skin colonization, we constructed MW2-derivative strains with and without the Hlb gene and then subjected them to colonization tests. The colonization efficiency of the Hlb-producing mutant on murine ears was more than 50-fold greater than that of the mutant without hlb. Furthermore, we also showed that Hlb toxin had elevated cytotoxicity for human primary keratinocytes. Our results indicate that S. aureus Hlb plays an important role in skin colonization by damaging keratinocytes, in addition to its well-known hemolytic activity for erythrocytes.
PMCID: PMC3592002  PMID: 23292775
6.  Small GTPase R-Ras regulates Integrity and Functionality of Tumor Blood Vessels 
Cancer cell  2012;22(2):235-249.
We show that R-Ras, a small GTPase of the Ras family, is essential for the establishment of mature, functional blood vessels in tumors. The genetic disruption of R-Ras severely impaired the maturation processes of tumor vessels in mice. Conversely, the gain of function of R-Ras improved vessel structure and blood perfusion and blocked plasma leakage by enhanced endothelial barrier function and pericyte association with nascent blood vessels. Thus, R-Ras promotes normalization of the tumor vasculature. These findings identify R-Ras as a critical regulator of vessel integrity and function during tumor vascularization.
PMCID: PMC3422514  PMID: 22897853
7.  Pharmacological Inhibition of polysialyltransferase ST8SiaII Modulates Tumour Cell Migration 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73366.
Polysialic acid (polySia), an α-2,8-glycosidically linked polymer of sialic acid, is a developmentally regulated post-translational modification predominantly found on NCAM (neuronal cell adhesion molecule). Whilst high levels are expressed during development, peripheral adult organs do not express polySia-NCAM. However, tumours of neural crest-origin re-express polySia-NCAM: its occurrence correlates with aggressive and invasive disease and poor clinical prognosis in different cancer types, notably including small cell lung cancer (SCLC), pancreatic cancer and neuroblastoma. In neuronal development, polySia-NCAM biosynthesis is catalysed by two polysialyltransferases, ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV, but it is ST8SiaII that is the prominent enzyme in tumours. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of ST8SiaII inhibition by a small molecule on tumour cell migration, utilising cytidine monophosphate (CMP) as a tool compound. Using immunoblotting we showed that CMP reduced ST8iaII-mediated polysialylation of NCAM. Utilizing a novel HPLC-based assay to quantify polysialylation of a fluorescent acceptor (DMB-DP3), we demonstrated that CMP is a competitive inhibitor of ST8SiaII (Ki = 10 µM). Importantly, we have shown that CMP causes a concentration-dependent reduction in tumour cell-surface polySia expression, with an absence of toxicity. When ST8SiaII-expressing tumour cells (SH-SY5Y and C6-STX) were evaluated in 2D cell migration assays, ST8SiaII inhibition led to significant reductions in migration, while CMP had no effect on cells not expressing ST8SiaII (DLD-1 and C6-WT). The study demonstrates for the first time that a polysialyltransferase inhibitor can modulate migration in ST8SiaII-expressing tumour cells. We conclude that ST8SiaII can be considered a druggable target with the potential for interfering with a critical mechanism in tumour cell dissemination in metastatic cancers.
PMCID: PMC3739731  PMID: 23951351
8.  Inducible colitis-associated glycome capable of stimulating the proliferation of memory CD4+ T cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2012;209(13):2383-2394.
The colitis-associated glycome mediates CD4+ T cell expansion and contributes to the exacerbation of T cell–mediated intestinal inflammation.
Immune responses are modified by a diverse and abundant repertoire of carbohydrate structures on the cell surface, which is known as the glycome. In this study, we propose that a unique glycome that can be identified through the binding of galectin-4 is created on local, but not systemic, memory CD4+ T cells under diverse intestinal inflammatory conditions, but not in the healthy state. The colitis-associated glycome (CAG) represents an immature core 1–expressing O-glycan. Development of CAG may be mediated by down-regulation of the expression of core-2 β1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (C2GnT) 1, a key enzyme responsible for the production of core-2 O-glycan branch through addition of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) to a core-1 O-glycan structure. Mechanistically, the CAG seems to contribute to super raft formation associated with the immunological synapse on colonic memory CD4+ T cells and to the consequent stabilization of protein kinase C θ activation, resulting in the stimulation of memory CD4+ T cell expansion in the inflamed intestine. Functionally, CAG-mediated CD4+ T cell expansion contributes to the exacerbation of T cell–mediated experimental intestinal inflammations. Therefore, the CAG may be an attractive therapeutic target to specifically suppress the expansion of effector memory CD4+ T cells in intestinal inflammation such as that seen in inflammatory bowel disease.
PMCID: PMC3526363  PMID: 23209314
9.  Two opposing roles of O-glycans in tumor metastasis 
Trends in Molecular Medicine  2012;18(4):224-232.
Despite the high prevalence and poor outcome of patients with metastatic cancers, the processes of tumor metastasis still remain poorly understood. It has been shown that cell-surface carbohydrates attached to proteins through the amino acids serine or threonine (O-glycans) are involved in tumor metastasis, with the roles of O-glycans varying depending on their structures. Core2 O-glycans allow tumor cells to evade natural killer (NK) cells of the immune system and survive longer in the circulatory system, thereby promoting tumor metastasis. Core3 O-glycans or O-mannosyl glycans suppress tumor formation and metastasis by modulating integrin-mediated signaling. Here, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the detailed molecular mechanisms by which O-glycans promote or suppress tumor metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3356160  PMID: 22425488
10.  In Vivo Regulation of Steroid Hormones by the Chst10 Sulfotransferase in Mouse* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2012;288(7):5007-5016.
Background: Chst10 transfers sulfate to glucuronic acid to form the HNK-1 antigen carried by glycoproteins and glycolipids in neurons and NK cells.
Results: Chst10 transfers sulfate to glucuronidated steroid hormones, and Chst10-deficient mice exhibited subfertility.
Conclusion: Subfertility in Chst10 null females is caused by a loss of steroid hormone dysregulation.
Significance: This study identified a new regulatory mechanism mediated by sulfation of glucuronidated steroid.
Chst10 adds sulfate to glucuronic acid to form a carbohydrate antigen, HNK-1, in glycoproteins and glycolipids. To determine the role of Chst10 in vivo, we generated systemic Chst10-deficient mutant mice. Although Chst10−/− mice were born and grew to adulthood with no gross defects, they were subfertile. Uteri from Chst10−/− females at the pro-estrus stage were larger than those from wild-type females and exhibited a thick uterine endometrium. Serum estrogen levels in Chst10−/− females were higher than those from wild-type females, suggesting impaired down-regulation of estrogen. Because steroid hormones are often conjugated to glucuronic acid, we hypothesized that Chst10 sulfates glucuronidated steroid hormone to regulate steroid hormone in vivo. Enzymatic activity assays and structural analysis of Chst10 products by HPLC and mass spectrometry revealed that Chst10 indeed sulfates glucuronidated estrogen, testosterone, and other steroid hormones. We also identified an HPLC peak corresponding to sulfated and glucuronidated estradiol in serum from wild-type but not from Chst10 null female mice. Estrogen-response element reporter assays revealed that Chst10-modified estrogen likely did not bind to its receptor. These results suggest that subfertility exhibited by female mice following Chst10 loss results from dysregulation of estrogen. Given that Chst10 transfers sulfates to several steroid hormones, Chst10 likely functions in widespread regulation of steroid hormones in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3576103  PMID: 23269668
Estrogen; Homologous Recombination; Hormones; Sulfotransferase; Testosterone
11.  Core2 O-glycan-expressing prostate cancer cells are resistant to NK cell immunity 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2012;7(2):359-364.
Core2 β-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (C2GnT) forms an N-acetylglucosamine branch in the O-glycans (core2 O-glycans) of cell surface glycoproteins. We previously revealed that the expression of C2GnT is positively correlated with poor prognosis in prostate cancer patients. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying their poor prognosis remain unclear. In the current study, we report that the core2 O-glycans carried by the surface MUC1 glycoproteins of prostate cancer cells play an important role in the evasion of NK cell immunity. In C2GnT-expressing prostate cancer cells, the MUC1 core2 O-glycans are modified with poly-N-acetyllactosamine. MUC1 glycoproteins carrying poly-N-acetyllactosamine attenuated the interaction of the cancer cells with NK cells, resulting in decreased secretion of granzyme B by the NK cells. Poly-N-acetyllactosamine also interfered with the ability of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to access the cancer cell surface. These effects of poly-N-acetyllactosamine on NK cells render C2GnT-expressing prostate cancer cells resistant to NK cell cytotoxicity. By contrast, C2GnT-deficient prostate cancer cells carrying a lower amount of poly-N-acetyllactosamine than the C2GnT-expressing prostate cancer cells were significantly more susceptible to NK cell cytotoxicity. Our results strongly suggest that C2GnT-expressing prostate cancer cells evade NK cell immunity and survive longer in the host blood circulation, thereby resulting in the promotion of prostate cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3573034  PMID: 23165940
prostate cancer; metastasis; core2 O-glycans; NK cell immunity; MUC1
12.  MUC1 carrying core 2 O-glycans functions as a molecular shield against NK cell attack, promoting bladder tumor metastasis 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;40(6):1831-1838.
Core 2 β-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (C2GnT) forms an N-acetylglucosamine branch in O-glycans (core 2 O-glycans) of cell surface glycoproteins. C2GnT-expressing bladder tumors acquire highly metastatic phenotypes by surviving longer in host blood circulation. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying this increased survival remain unclear. In this study, we report that the expression of C2GnT in bladder tumors positively correlates with tumor progression and that bladder tumor cell-surface mucin 1 (MUC1) carrying core 2 O-glycans plays an important role in the evasion from natural killer (NK) cell attack. In C2GnT-expressing bladder tumor cells, heavily core 2 O-glycosylated MUC1 carries poly-N-acetyllactosamine in its O-glycans and galectin-3 binds to MUC1 through this poly-N-acetyllactosamine. The binding of galectin-3 to poly-N-acetyllactosamine in MUC1 core 2 O-glycans attenuates the interaction of the tumor cells with NK cells and interferes with the access of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand to the tumor cell surface. These effects of MUC1 carrying core 2 O-glycans on NK cell attack facilitate C2GnT-expressing tumor cells to evade NK cell immunity and survive longer in host blood circulation. We reveal that MUC1 carrying core 2 O-glycans thus functions as a molecular shield against NK cell attack, thereby promoting bladder tumor metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3396290  PMID: 22446589
bladder tumor; metastasis; core 2 O-glycans; natural killer cell immunity; mucin 1
13.  Fer kinase regulates cell migration through α-dystroglycan glycosylation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(5):771-780.
This is the first report on the role of Fer kinase in down-regulating the expression of laminin-binding glycans that suppress cell migration. The data show a novel biochemical interaction between glycan-based adhesion and cell migration, mediated by a tyrosine kinase.
Glycans of α-dystroglycan (α-DG), which is expressed at the epithelial cell–basement membrane (BM) interface, play an essential role in epithelium development and tissue organization. Laminin-binding glycans on α-DG expressed on cancer cells suppress tumor progression by attenuating tumor cell migration from the BM. However, mechanisms controlling laminin-binding glycan expression are not known. Here, we used small interfering RNA (siRNA) library screening and identified Fer kinase, a non–receptor-type tyrosine kinase, as a key regulator of laminin-binding glycan expression. Fer overexpression decreased laminin-binding glycan expression, whereas siRNA-mediated down-regulation of Fer kinase increased glycan expression on breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Loss of Fer kinase function via siRNA or mutagenesis increased transcription levels of glycosyltransferases, including protein O-mannosyltransferase 1, β3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1, and like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase that are required to synthesize laminin-binding glycans. Consistently, inhibition of Fer expression decreased cell migration in the presence of laminin fragment. Fer kinase regulated STAT3 phosphorylation and consequent activation, whereas knockdown of STAT3 increased laminin-binding glycan expression on cancer cells. These results indicate that the Fer pathway negatively controls expression of genes required to synthesize laminin-binding glycans, thus impairing BM attachment and increasing tumor cell migration.
PMCID: PMC3290637  PMID: 22238358
14.  Prominent expression of sialyl Lewis X-capped core 2-branched O-glycans on high endothelial venule-like vessels in gastric MALT lymphoma 
The Journal of pathology  2011;224(1):67-77.
High endothelial venule (HEV)-like vessels have been observed in gastric B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type (MALT lymphoma), as well as in its preceding lesion, chronic Helicobacter pylori gastritis. Previously we reported that glycans on HEV-like vessels in the latter lesion served as L-selectin ligands. However, the biochemical and functional nature of glycans on HEV-like vessels in gastric MALT lymphoma remained to be determined. In this study, we performed immunohistochemical analysis for sialyl Lewis X (sLeX)-related glycoepitopes using three monoclonal antibodies MECA-79, HECA-452, and NCC-ST-439, and found that MECA-79−/HECA-452+/NCC-ST-439+ HEV-like vessels preferentially appears in gastric MALT lymphoma compared to chronic H. pylori gastritis, suggesting that appearance of MECA-79−/HECA-452+/NCC-ST-439+ HEV-like vessels marks gastric MALT lymphoma. We then constructed a set of CHO cell lines expressing possible MECA-79−/HECA-452+/NCC-ST-439+ glycans, as well as other sLeX-type glycans, on CD34, and evaluated L-selectin binding to those cells using L-selectin•IgM chimera binding and lymphocyte adhesion assays. L-selectin•IgM chimeras bound to CHO cells expressing 6-sulfo sLeX attached to core 2-branched O-glycans with or without 6-sulfo sLeX attached to extended core 1 O-glycans but only marginally to other CHO cell lines. On the other hand, CHO cells expressing 6-sulfo sLeX attached to extended core 1 and/or core 2-branched O-glycans, and also non-sulfated sLeX attached to core 2-branched O-glycans showed substantial lymphocyte binding, while binding was negligible on cell lines expressing 6-sulfo and non-sulfated sLeX attached to N-glycans and non-sulfated sLeX attached to extended core 1 O-glycans. These results indicate that MECA-79−/HECA-452+/NCC-ST-439+ glycans, namely 6-sulfo and non-sulfated sLeXs attached to core 2-branched O-glycans, expressed on HEV-like vessels in gastric MALT lymphoma, function as L-selectin ligands and likely contribute to H. pylori-specific T-cell recruitment in the progression of gastric MALT lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC3076943  PMID: 21432854
stomach; mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue; lymphoma; high endothelial venule-like vessel; 6-sulfo sialyl Lewis X; non-sulfated sialyl Lewis X; core 2-branched O-glycan
15.  Essential role of gastric gland mucin in preventing gastric cancer in mice 
Gastric gland mucin secreted from the lower portion of the gastric mucosa contains unique O-linked oligosaccharides (O-glycans) having terminal α1,4-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues (αGlcNAc). Previously, we identified human α1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (α4GnT), which is responsible for the O-glycan biosynthesis and characterized αGlcNAc function in suppressing Helicobacter pylori in vitro. In the present study, we engineered A4gnt–/– mice to better understand its role in vivo. A4gnt–/– mice showed complete lack of αGlcNAc expression in gastric gland mucin. Surprisingly, all the mutant mice developed gastric adenocarcinoma through a hyperplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma sequence in the absence of H. pylori infection. Microarray and quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed upregulation of genes encoding inflammatory chemokine ligands, proinflammatory cytokines, and growth factors, such as Ccl2, Il-11, and Hgf in the gastric mucosa of A4gnt–/– mice. Further supporting an important role for this O-glycan in cancer progression, we also observed significantly reduced αGlcNAc in human gastric adenocarcinoma and adenoma. Our results demonstrate that the absence of αGlcNAc triggers gastric tumorigenesis through inflammation-associated pathways in vivo. Thus, αGlcNAc-terminated gastric mucin plays dual roles in preventing gastric cancer by inhibiting H. pylori infection and also suppressing tumor-promoting inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3287219  PMID: 22307328
16.  Reduced Glycosylation of α-Dystroglycans on Carcinoma Cells Contributes to Formation of Highly Infiltrative Histological Patterns in Prostate Cancer 
The Prostate  2011;71(11):1151-1157.
α-Dystroglycan (DG) carries glycan chains that bind to laminin and thus function in homeostasis of not only skeletal muscle but also of various epithelial cells. Loss of glycosylation has been suggested to play important roles in tumor development, particularly in detachment and migration of carcinoma cells. We previously reported that glycosylation of α-DG, but not levels of α-DG core protein itself, is reduced in prostate carcinoma. In this study, we investigate the association between reduction of laminin-binding glycans on α-DG and the degree of tumor cell differentiation and/or infiltrative properties, as assessed by the Gleason grading system.
Immunohistochemical analysis of 146 biopsy specimens of prostate adenocarcinoma with various Gleason scores was carried out employing IIH6 and 6C1 antibodies, which recognize laminin-binding glycans on α-DG and α-DG core proteins, respectively. Double immunofluorescence staining was performed to evaluate colocalization of α-DG and laminin, and to determine which types of epithelial cells express laminin-binding glycans on α-DG.
Reduction of α-DG glycosylation, rather than loss of α-DG core protein, was correlated with higher Gleason patterns. Reduction was most conspicuous at the interface between carcinoma cells and the basement membrane. In addition, in non-neoplastic prostate glands, laminin-binding glycans were expressed predominantly on the basolateral surface of basal cells.
Reduced expression of laminin-binding glycans on α-DG may contribute to formation of highly infiltrative behavior of prostate carcinoma cells. Substantial reduction of laminin-binding glycans in carcinoma tissue could be partly ascribed to disappearance of pre-existing basal cells.
PMCID: PMC3174275  PMID: 21656825
prostatic neoplasms; dystroglycans; glycosylation
17.  High-sensitivity O-glycomic analysis of mice deficient in core 2 β1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases 
Glycobiology  2010;21(1):82-98.
Core 2 β1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (C2GnT), which exists in three isoforms, C2GnT1, C2GnT2 and C2GnT3, is one of the key enzymes in the O-glycan biosynthetic pathway. These isoenzymes produce core 2 O-glycans and have been correlated with the biosynthesis of core 4 O-glycans and I-branches. Previously, we have reported mice with single and multiple deficiencies of C2GnT isoenzyme(s) and have evaluated the biological and structural consequences of the loss of core 2 function. We now present more comprehensive O-glycomic analyses of neutral and sialylated glycans expressed in the colon, small intestine, stomach, kidney, thyroid/trachea and thymus of wild-type, C2GnT2 and C2GnT3 single knockouts and the C2GnT1–3 triple knockout mice. Very high-quality data have emerged from our mass spectrometry techniques with the capability of detecting O-glycans up to at least 3500 Da. We were able to unambiguously elucidate the types of O-glycan core, branching location and residue linkages, which allowed us to exhaustively characterize structural changes in the knockout tissues. The C2GnT2 knockout mice suffered a major loss of core 2 O-glycans as well as glycans with I-branches on core 1 antennae especially in the stomach and the colon. In contrast, core 2 O-glycans still dominated the O-glycomic profile of most tissues in the C2GnT3 knockout mice. Analysis of the C2GnT triple knockout mice revealed a complete loss of both core 2 O-glycans and branched core 1 antennae, confirming that the three known isoenzymes are entirely responsible for producing these structures. Unexpectedly, O-linked mannosyl glycans are upregulated in the triple deficient stomach. In addition, our studies have revealed an interesting terminal structure detected on O-glycans of the colon tissues that is similar to the RM2 antigen from glycolipids.
PMCID: PMC2998984  PMID: 20855471
C2GnT; core 2 O-glycan; knockout mice; mass spectrometry; murine O-glycome
18.  Identification of Mono- and Disulfated N-Acetyl-lactosaminyl Oligosaccharide Structures as Epitopes Specifically Recognized by Humanized Monoclonal Antibody HMOCC-1 Raised against Ovarian Cancer*♦ 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2011;287(9):6592-6602.
Background: We produced a humanized monoclonal antibody, designated HMOCC-1, against cell surface carbohydrates presented by malignant ovarian cancer.
Results: Co-transfection experiments predicted HMOCC-1 antigenic oligosaccharides structures, which were then chemically synthesized for testing antibody binding.
Conclusion: HMOCC-1 antigen is the glycan structure composed of SO3→3Galβ1→4GlcNAcβ1→3(±SO3→6)Galβ1→4GlcNAcβ1→.
Significance: The approach employed in this study will be useful in determining specificity of an undefined monoclonal anti-carbohydrate antibody.
A humanized monoclonal antibody raised against human ovarian cancer RMG-I cells and designated as HMOCC-1 (Suzuki, N., Aoki, D., Tamada, Y., Susumu, N., Orikawa, K., Tsukazaki, K., Sakayori, M., Suzuki, A., Fukuchi, T., Mukai, M., Kojima-Aikawa, K., Ishida, I., and Nozawa, S. (2004) Gynecol. Oncol. 95, 290–298) was characterized for its carbohydrate epitope structure. Specifically, a series of co-transfections was performed using mammalian expression vectors encoding specific glycosyltransferases and sulfotransferases. These experiments identified one sulfotransferase, GAL3ST3, and one glycosyltransferase, B3GNT7, as required for HMOCC-1 antigen formation. They also suggested that the sulfotransferase CHST1 regulates the abundance and intensity of HMOCC-1 antigen. When HEK293T cells were co-transfected with GAL3ST3 and B3GNT7 expression vectors, transfected cells weakly expressed HMOCC-1 antigen. When cells were first co-transfected with GAL3ST3 and B3GNT7 and then with CHST1, the resulting cells strongly expressed HMOCC-1 antigen. However, when cells were transfected with a mixture of GAL3ST3 and CHST1 before or after transfection with B3GNT7, the number of antigen-positive cells decreased relative to the number seen with only GAL3ST3 and B3GNT7, suggesting that CHST1 plays a regulatory role in HMOCC-1 antigen formation. Because these results predicted that HMOCC-1 antigens are SO3→3Galβ1→4GlcNAcβ1→3(±SO3→6)Galβ1→4GlcNAc, we chemically synthesized mono- and disulfated and unsulfated oligosaccharides. Immunoassays using these oligosaccharides as inhibitors showed the strongest activity by disulfated tetrasaccharide, weak but positive activity by monosulfated tetrasaccharide at the terminal galactose, and no activity by nonsulfated tetrasaccharides. These results establish the HMOCC-1 epitope, which should serve as a useful reagent to further characterize ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3307324  PMID: 22194598
Carbohydrate; Carbohydrate Chemistry; Carbohydrate Glycoconjugate; Carbohydrate Glycoprotein; Ovarian Cancer; Glycosyltransferase; Polylactosamine; Sulfotransferase
19.  Endothelial Heparan Sulfate Controls Chemokine Presentation in Recruitment of Lymphocytes and Dendritic Cells to Lymph Nodes 
Immunity  2010;33(5):817-829.
Heparan sulfate can bind several adhesion molecules involved in lymphocyte trafficking. However, the in vivo function of endothelial heparan sulfate in lymphocyte homing and stimulation of the immune response has not been elucidated. Here, we generated mutant mice deficient in the enzyme Ext1, which is required for heparan sulfate synthesis, in a Tek-dependent and inducible manner. Chemokine presentation was diminished in the mutant mice, causing the lack of appropriate integrin-mediated adhesion, and resulted in a marked decrease in lymphocyte sticking to high endothelial venules and in recruitment of resident dendritic cells through lymphatic vessels to the lymph nodes. As a consequence, mutant mice displayed a severe impairment in lymphocyte homing and a compromised contact hypersensitivity response. By contrast, lymphocyte rolling was increased due to loss of electrostatic repulsion by heparan sulfate. These results demonstrate critical roles of endothelial heparan sulfate in immune surveillance and immune response generation.
PMCID: PMC2996097  PMID: 21093315
20.  Essential role of peripheral node addressin in lymphocyte homing to nasal-associated lymphoid tissues and allergic immune responses 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(5):1015-1025.
Homing of conventional T cells to NALT is primarily dependent on L-selectin–PNAd interactions, whereas homing of regulatory T cells also depends on PSGL1- and CD44-mediated adhesion.
Nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) is a mucosal immune tissue that provides immune responses against inhaled antigens. Lymphocyte homing to NALT is mediated by specific interactions between lymphocytes and high endothelial venules (HEVs) in NALT. In contrast to HEVs in other mucosal lymphoid tissues, NALT HEVs strongly express peripheral node addressins (PNAds) that bear sulfated glycans recognized by the monoclonal antibody MECA-79. We investigated the role of PNAd in lymphocyte homing to NALT using sulfotransferase N-acetylglucosamine-6-O-sulfotransferase (GlcNAc6ST) 1 and GlcNAc6ST-2 double knockout (DKO) mice. The expression of PNAd in NALT HEVs was eliminated in DKO mice. Short-term homing assays indicated that lymphocyte homing to NALT was diminished by 90% in DKO mice. Production of antigen-specific IgE and the number of sneezes in response to nasally administered ovalbumin were also substantially diminished. Consistently, the NALT of DKO mice showed reduced production of IL-4 and increased production of IL-10 together with an increase in CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Treg cells). Compared with the homing of CD4+CD25− conventional T cells, the homing of CD4+CD25+ Treg cells to NALT was less dependent on the L-selectin–PNAd interaction but was partially dependent on PSGL-1 (P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1) and CD44. These results demonstrate that PNAd is essential for lymphocyte homing to NALT and nasal allergic responses.
PMCID: PMC3092357  PMID: 21518796
21.  An RpoB Mutation Confers Dual Heteroresistance to Daptomycin and Vancomycin in Staphylococcus aureus ▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(12):5222-5233.
We have previously reported the establishment of a Staphylococcus aureus laboratory strain, 10*3d1, having reduced susceptibility to daptomycin and heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) phenotype. The strain was generated in vitro by serial daptomycin selection (Camargo, I. L., H. M. Neoh, L. Cui, and K. Hiramatsu, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 52:4289-4299, 2008). Here we explored the genetic mechanism of resistance in the strain by whole-genome sequencing and by producing gene-replaced strains. By genome comparison between 10*3d1 and its parent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain N315ΔIP, we identified five nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). One of the five mutations was found in the rpoB gene encoding the RNA polymerase β subunit. The mutation at nucleotide position 1862 substituted the 621st alanine by glutamic acid. The replacement of the intact rpoB with the mutated rpoB, designated rpoB(A621E), conferred N315ΔIP with the phenotypes of reduced susceptibility to daptomycin and hetero-VISA. The rpoB(A621E)-mediated resistance conversion was accompanied by a thickened cell wall and reduction of the cell surface negative charge. Being consistent with these phenotypic changes, microarray data showed that the expression of the dlt operon, which increases the cell surface positive charge, was enhanced in the rpoB(A621E) mutant. Other remarkable findings of microarray analysis of the rpoB(A621E) mutant included repression of metabolic pathways of purine, pyrimidine, arginine, the urea cycle, and the lac operon, enhancement of the biosynthetic pathway of vitamin B2, K1, and K2, and cell wall metabolism. Finally, mutations identified in rplV and rplC, encoding 50S ribosomal proteins L22 and L3, respectively, were found to be associated with the slow growth, but not with the phenotype of decreased susceptibility to vancomycin and daptomycin, of 10*3d1.
PMCID: PMC2981288  PMID: 20837752
22.  Core 2 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-1 expression induces aggressive potential of testicular germ cell tumor 
We studied orchiectomy specimens from 130 patients immuhistochemically with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) using anti-core 2 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-1 (C2GnT-1) antibody. The incidence of C2GnT-1 positivity in stage I disease (29.5%, 21/71) was significantly lower than that in higher stages (84.7%, 50/59) (P < 0.001, χ2 test). This significant difference was also found when the cases were divided into seminoma and NSGCT according to histopathological classification. Kaplan-Meier plots and the log rank test showed that in the patients with stage I seminoma, C2GnT-1-positive cases had a higher risk for recurrence (P < 0.001). This was also the case with the patients with stage I NSGCT (P < 0.001). To determine whether C2GnT-1 promotes aggressive behavior of cancer cells, a C2GnT-1-negative human TGCT cell line, JKT-1, was stably transfected with a mammalian expression vector containing C2GnT-1 cDNA. In vitro assays revealed that JKT-1-C2 cells are more invasive than mock transfectants, although there are no differences in proliferation activity. When orthotopically inoculated into athymic nude mice, JKT-1-C2 cells produced larger testicular tumors extending to the retroperitoneum with mesenteric metastasis, while mock transfectants produced small tumors without metastasis (P < 0.01, Mann-Whitney’s U-test). When injected via the tail vein, JKT-1-C2 cells produced a number of metastatic lung foci. In contrast, mock transfectants produced a small number of nodules (p < 0.01, Mann-Whitney’s U-test). These results strongly suggest that C2GnT-1 enhances the metastatic potential of TGCT and may be a reliable biomarker for aggressive potential of TGCT.
PMCID: PMC2897929  PMID: 20017138
core 2 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-1; testicular germ cell tumor; metastasis
23.  Efficacy and safety of amrubicin hydrochloride for treatment of relapsed small cell lung cancer 
Long-term survival is quite uncommon in refractory small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients, with less than 25% of patients with limited-stage disease and 1%–2% of patients with extensive-stage disease remaining alive at five years. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated the promising efficacy of amrubicin for patients with relapsed SCLC. This review presents the results of clinical studies showing the efficacy and safety of amrubicin for the treatment of relapsed SCLC. Amrubicin is a synthetic anthracycline agent with a similar structure to doxorubicin, in which the hydroxyl group at position 9 in amrubicin is replaced by an amino group to enhance efficacy. It is converted to an active metabolite, amrubicinol, which is 5–54 times more active than amrubicin. Amrubicin and amrubicinol are inhibitors of DNA topoisomerase II, exerting their cytotoxic effects by stabilizing a topoisomerase II-mediated cleavable complex. The toxicity of amrubicin is similar to that of doxorubicin, although amrubicin shows almost no cardiotoxicity. In the relevant trials, amrubicin was administered intravenously at a dose of 35–40 mg/m2 on days 1–3 every three weeks. The response rate was 34%–52% and median survival times were 8.1–12.0 months. Common hematologic toxicities included neutropenia, leucopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and febrile neutropenia. Nonhematologic adverse events included Grade 3–4 anorexia, asthenia, hyponatremia, and nausea. The results of the studies which demonstrated the efficacy of monotherapy for relapsed SCLC involved mainly Japanese patients. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct more clinical studies in non-Japanese patients to confirm the efficacy of amrubicin.
PMCID: PMC3004588  PMID: 21188110
amrubicin; amrubicinol; small cell lung cancer; relapse
24.  Crystal structure and functional insight of HP0420-homolog from Helicobacter felis 
Helicobacter pylori infect more than half of the world’s population and are considered a cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Recently, hypothetical gene HP0421 was identified in H. pylori as a cholesterol α-glucosyltransferase, which is required to synthesize cholesteryl glucosides, essential cell wall components of the bacteria. In the same gene-cluster, HP0420 was co-identified, whose function remains unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of HP0420-homolog of H. felis (HF0420) to gain insight into the function of HP0420. The crystal structure, combined with size-exclusion chromatography, reveals that HF0420 adopts a homodimeric hot-dog fold. The crystal structure suggests that HF0420 has enzymatic activity that involves a conserved histidine residue at the end of the central α-helix. Subsequent biochemical studies provide clues to the function of HP0420 and HF0420.
PMCID: PMC2891984  PMID: 20302842
Crystal structure; Helicobacter; Hot-dog fold; Structural genomics; HP0420
25.  GlcNAc6ST-1-Mediated Decoration of MAdCAM-1 Protein with L-Selectin Ligand Carbohydrates Directs Disease Activity of Ulcerative Colitis 
Inflammatory bowel diseases  2009;15(5):697-706.
A diffuse lymphocyte infiltrate is one of the characteristic features of ulcerative colitis (UC). Such lymphocyte recruitment requires lymphocyte rolling mediated by L-selectin ligand carbohydrates (6-sulfo sialyl Lewis X-capped O-glycans) and/or mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1) expressed on high endothelial venule (HEV)-like vessels. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the role of MAdCAM-1 posttranslationally modified (“decorated”) with L-selectin ligand carbohydrates in UC pathogenesis and consequent clinical outcomes.
Biopsy specimens composed of active and remission phases of UC as well as normal colonic mucosa were immunostained for CD34, MAdCAM-1 and MECA-79, and the immunostained sections were quantitatively analyzed. RT-PCR was carried out to evaluate transcripts of MAdCAM-1 and N-acetylglucosamine-6-O-sulfotransferases (GlcNAc6STs). CHO and Lec2 cells transfected with CD34 and MAdCAM-1 together with enzymes involved in L-selectin ligand carbohydrate biosynthesis were analyzed by immunofluorescence, FACS and Western blotting to characterize biochemical property of GlcNAc6STs.
The number of MAdCAM-1+ vessels was increased in UC, with no significant difference between active and remission phases. An increased ratio of MECA-79+ to MAdCAM-1+ vessels with preferential GlcNAc6ST-1 transcripts was observed in the active phase of UC compared to remission phase. MAdCAM-1 protein was co-localized with L-selectin ligand carbohydrates at the luminal surface of HEV-like vessels in situ. GlcNAc6ST-1 preferentially utilizes MAdCAM-1 as a scaffold protein for GlcNAc-6-O-sulfation in L-selectin ligand carbohydrate biosynthesis.
UC disease activity is not regulated by expression of MAdCAM-1 protein itself, but rather by GlcNAc6ST-1-mediated decoration of MAdCAM-1 protein with L-selectin ligand carbohydrates.
PMCID: PMC2696616  PMID: 19067429
ulcerative colitis; mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1); peripheral lymph node addressin (PNAd); L-selectin ligand carbohydrate; posttranslational modification

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