The repertoire of glycans expressed by individual cells and tissues is enormous, and various estimates indicate that thousands of different glycans and "glycan determinants" are critical for functional recognition by glycan-binding proteins. Defining the steady-state expression and functional impacts of the human glycome will require a concerted worldwide effort, along with the development of new immunological, genetic, chemical, and biochemical technologies. Here, we describe the generation of smart anti-glycan reagents (SAGRs), recombinant antibodies that recognize novel glycan determinants. The antibodies are generated by the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), through immunization with glycoconjugates, cells, and even tissues. SAGRs represent a versatile immunological tool for defining the expression of glycans in cells and tissues. We also present a comparison of lamprey-derived anti-carbohydrate antibodies that have been characterized to date. Finally, we explore the unique glyco-genome of the lamprey itself as it compares to those of humans and mice and how it may relate to the lamprey's inherent capacity to produce antibodies to mammalian glycans.
Glycan recognition is typically studied using free glycans, but glycopeptide presentations represent more physiological conditions for glycoproteins. To facilitate studies of glycopeptide recognition, we developed Glyco-SPOT synthesis, which enables the parallel production of diverse glycopeptide libraries at microgram scales. The method uses a closed system for prolonged reactions required for coupling Fmoc-protected glycoamino acids, including O-, N-, and S-linked glycosides, and release conditions to prevent side reactions. To optimize reaction conditions and sample reaction progress, we devised a biopsy testing method. We demonstrate the efficient utilization of such microscale glycopeptide libraries to determine the specificity of glycan-recognizing antibodies (e.g., CTD110.6) using microarrays, enzyme specificity on-array and in-solution (e.g., ST6GalNAc1, GCNT1, and T-synthase), and binding kinetics using fluorescence polarization. We demonstrated that the glycosylation on these peptides can be expanded using glycosyltransferases both in-solution and on-array. This technology will promote the discovery of biological functions of peptide modifications by glycans.
Glycosylation, the enzymatic attachment of carbohydrates to proteins and lipids, regulates nearly all cellular processes and is critical in the development and function of the nervous system. Axon pathfinding, neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, neurotransmission, and many other neuronal processes are regulated by glycans. Over the past 25 years, studies analyzing post-mortem brain samples have found evidence of aberrant glycosylation in individuals with schizophrenia. Proteins involved in both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission display altered glycans in the disease state, including AMPA and kainate receptor subunits, glutamate transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2, and the GABA receptor. Polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM) and perineuronal nets, highly glycosylated molecules critical for axonal migration and synaptic stabilization, are both downregulated in multiple brain regions of individuals with schizophrenia. In addition, enzymes spanning several pathways of glycan synthesis show differential expression in brains of individuals with schizophrenia. These changes may be due to genetic predisposition, environmental perturbations, medication use, or a combination of these factors. However, the recent association of several enzymes of glycosylation with schizophrenia by genome-wide association studies underscores the importance of glycosylation in this disease. Understanding how glycosylation is dysregulated in the brain will further our understanding of how this pathway contributes to the development and pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
The antigen-binding variable regions of the B cell receptor (BCR) and of antibodies are encoded by exons that are assembled in developing B cells by V(D)J recombination. The BCR repertoires of primary B cells are vast owing to mechanisms that create diversity at the junctions of V(D)J gene segments that contribute to complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3), the region that binds antigen. Primary B cells undergo antigen-driven BCR affinity maturation through somatic hypermutation and cellular selection in germinal centres (GCs). Although most GCs are transient, those in intestinal Peyer's patches (PPs)-which depend on the gut microbiota-are chronic, and little is known about their BCR repertoires or patterns of somatic hypermutation. Here, using a high-throughput assay that analyses both V(D)J segment usage and somatic hypermutation profiles, we elucidate physiological BCR repertoires in mouse PP GCs. PP GCs from different mice expand public BCR clonotypes (clonotypes that are shared between many mice) that often have canonical CDR3s in the immunoglobulin heavy chain that, owing to junctional biases during V(D)J recombination, appear much more frequently than predicted in naive B cell repertoires. Some public clonotypes are dependent on the gut microbiota and encode antibodies that are reactive to bacterial glycans, whereas others are independent of gut bacteria. Transfer of faeces from specific-pathogen-free mice to germ-free mice restored germ-dependent clonotypes, directly implicating BCR selection. We identified somatic hypermutations that were recurrently selected in such public clonotypes, indicating that affinity maturation occurs in mouse PP GCs under homeostatic conditions. Thus, persistent gut antigens select recurrent BCR clonotypes to seed chronic PP GC responses.
OBJECTIVE: To measure anti-glycan antibodies (AGA) in cervical cancer (CC) patient sera and assess their effect on therapeutic outcome.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Serum AGA was measured in 276 stage II and 292 stage III Peruvian CC patients using a high content and throughput Luminex multiplex glycan array (LMGA) containing 177 glycans. Association with disease-specific survival (DSS) and progression free survival (PFS) were analyzed using Cox regression.
RESULTS: AGAs were detected against 50 (28.3%) of the 177 glycans assayed. Of the 568 patients, 84.5% received external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) plus brachytherapy (BT), while 15.5% only received EBRT. For stage-matched patients (Stage III), receiving EBRT alone was significantly associated with worse survival (HR 6.4, p < 0.001). Stage III patients have significantly worse survival than Stage II patients after matching for treatment (HR = 2.8 in EBRT+BT treatment group). Furthermore, better PFS and DSS were observed in patients positive for AGA against multiple glycans belonging to the blood group H, Lewis, Ganglio, Isoglobo, lacto and sialylated tetrarose antigens (best HR = 0.49, best p = 0.0008).
CONCLUSIONS: Better PFS and DSS are observed in cervical cancer patients that are positive for specific antiglycan antibodies and received brachytherapy.
The continual emergence of novel influenza A strains from non-human hosts requires constant vigilance and the need for ongoing research to identify strains that may pose a human public health risk. Since 1999, canine H3 influenza A viruses (CIVs) have caused many thousands or millions of respiratory infections in dogs in the United States. While no human infections with CIVs have been reported to date, these viruses could pose a zoonotic risk. In these studies, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) network collaboratively demonstrated that CIVs replicated in some primary human cells and transmitted effectively in mammalian models. While people born after 1970 had little or no pre-existing humoral immunity against CIVs, the viruses were sensitive to existing antivirals and we identified a panel of H3 cross-reactive human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) that could have prophylactic and/or therapeutic value. Our data predict these CIVs posed a low risk to humans. Importantly, we showed that the CEIRS network could work together to provide basic research information important for characterizing emerging influenza viruses, although there were valuable lessons learned.
The molecular mechanisms regulating lymphocyte homing into lymph nodes are only partly understood. Here, we report that B cell-specific deletion of the X-linked gene, Cosmc, and the consequent decrease of protein O-glycosylation, induces developmental blocks of mouse B cells. After transfer into wild-type recipient, Cosmc-null B cells fail to home to lymph nodes as well as non-lymphoid organs. Enzymatic desialylation of wild-type B cells blocks their migration into lymph nodes, indicating a requirement of sialylated O-glycans for proper trafficking. Mechanistically, Cosmc-deficient B cells have normal rolling and firm arrest on high endothelium venules (HEV), thereby attributing their inefficient trafficking to alterations in the subsequent transendothelial migration step. Finally, Cosmc-null B cells have defective chemokine signaling responses. Our results thus demonstrate that Cosmc and its effects on O-glycosylation are important for controlling B cell homing.
Studies on the expression of cellular glycans are limited by a lack of sensitive tools that can discriminate specific structural features. Here we describe the development of a robust platform using immunized lampreys (Petromyzon marinus), which secrete variable lymphocyte receptors called VLRBs as antibodies, for generating libraries of anti-glycan reagents. We identified a wide variety of glycan-specific VLRBs detectable in lamprey plasma after immunization with whole fixed cells, tissue homogenates, and human milk. The cDNAs from lamprey lymphocytes were cloned into yeast surface display (YSD) libraries for enrichment by multiple methods. We generated VLRB-Ig chimeras, termed smart anti-glycan reagents (SAGRs), whose specificities were defined by microarray analysis and immunohistochemistry. 15 VLRB antibodies were discovered that discriminated between linkages, functional groups and unique presentations of the terminal glycan motif. The development of SAGRs will enhance future studies on glycan expression by providing sequenced, defined antibodies for a variety of research applications.
Mild modification of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been reported to result in enhanced polyspecificity and leveraged therapeutic effects in animal models of inflammation. Here, we observed that IVIG modification by ferrous ions, heme or low pH exposure, shifted the repertoires of specificities in different directions. Ferrous ions exposed Fe(II)-IVIG, but not heme or low pH exposed IVIG, showed increased pro-apoptotic effects on neutrophil granulocytes that relied on a FAS-dependent mechanism. These effects were also observed in human neutrophils primed by inflammatory mediators or rheumatoid arthritis joint fluid , or patient neutrophils from acute Crohn's disease. These observations indicate that IVIG-mediated effects on cells can be enhanced by IVIG modification, yet specific modification conditions may be required to target specific molecular pathways and eventually to enhance the therapeutic potential.
Advances in genomics are opening new windows into the biology of schizophrenia. Though common variants individually have small effects on disease risk, GWAS provide a powerful opportunity to explore pathways and mechanisms contributing to pathophysiology. Here, we highlight an underappreciated biological theme emerging from GWAS: the role of glycosylation in schizophrenia. The strongest coding variant in schizophrenia GWAS is a missense mutation in the manganese transporter SLC39A8, which is associated with altered glycosylation patterns in humans. Furthermore, variants near several genes encoding glycosylation enzymes are unambiguously associated with schizophrenia: FUT9, MAN2A1, TMTC1, GALNT10, and B3GAT1. Here, we summarize the known biological functions, target substrates, and expression patterns of these enzymes as a primer for future studies. We also highlight a subset of schizophrenia-associated proteins critically modified by glycosylation including glutamate receptors, voltage-gated calcium channels, the dopamine D2 receptor, and complement glycoproteins. We hypothesize that common genetic variants alter brain glycosylation and play a fundamental role in the development of schizophrenia. Leveraging these findings will advance our mechanistic understanding of disease and may provide novel avenues for treatment development.
MOTIVATION: Glycan structures are commonly represented using symbols or linear nomenclature such as that from the Consortium for Functional Glycomics (also known as modified IUPAC-condensed nomenclature). No current tool allows for writing the name in such format using a graphical user interface (GUI); thus, names are prone to errors or non-standardized representations.
AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: The application can be used at: https://glycotoolkit.com/Tools/GlycoGlyph/. The application is tested to work in modern web browsers such as Firefox or Chrome.
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
MOTIVATION: Glycan microarrays are capable of illuminating the interactions of glycan-binding proteins (GBPs) against hundreds of defined glycan structures, and have revolutionized the investigations of protein-carbohydrate interactions underlying numerous critical biological activities. However, it is difficult to interpret microarray data and identify structural determinants promoting glycan binding to glycan-binding proteins due to the ambiguity in microarray fluorescence intensity and complexity in branched glycan structures. To facilitate analysis of glycan microarray data alongside protein structure, we have built the Glycan Microarray Database (GlyMDB), a web-based resource including a searchable database of glycan microarray samples and a toolset for data/structure analysis.
RESULTS: The current GlyMDB provides data visualization and glycan-binding motif discovery for 5203 glycan microarray samples collected from the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. The unique feature of GlyMDB is to link microarray data to PDB structures. The GlyMDB provides different options for database query, and allows users to upload their microarray data for analysis. After search or upload is complete, users can choose the criterion for binder versus non-binder classification. They can view the signal intensity graph including the binder/non-binder threshold followed by a list of glycan-binding motifs. One can also compare the fluorescence intensity data from two different microarray samples. A protein sequence-based search is performed using BLAST to match microarray data with all available PDB structures containing glycans. The glycan ligand information is displayed, and links are provided for structural visualization and redirection to other modules in GlycanStructure.ORG for further investigation of glycan-binding sites and glycan structures.
AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: http://www.glycanstructure.org/glymdb.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Glycans within human lungs are recognized by many pathogens such as influenza A virus (IAV), yet little is known about their structures. Here we present the first analysis of the N- and O- and glycosphingolipid-glycans from total human lungs, along with histological analyses of IAV binding. The N-glycome of human lung contains extremely large complex-type N-glycans with linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine (PL) [-3Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-] extensions, which are predominantly terminated in α2,3-linked sialic acid. By contrast, smaller N-glycans lack PL and are enriched in α2,6-linked sialic acids. In addition, we observed large glycosphingolipid (GSL)-glycans, which also consists of linear PL, terminating in mainly α2,3-linked sialic acid. Histological staining revealed that IAV binds to sialylated and non-sialylated glycans and binding is not concordant with respect to binding by sialic acid-specific lectins. These results extend our understanding of the types of glycans that may serve as binding sites for human lung pathogens.
The Tn antigen is a neoantigen abnormally expressed in many human carcinomas and expression correlates with metastasis and poor survival. To explore its biomarker potential, new antibodies are needed that specifically recognize this antigen in tumors. Here we generated two recombinant antibodies to the Tn antigen, Remab6 as a chimeric human IgG1 antibody and ReBaGs6 as a murine IgM antibody and characterized their specificities using multiple biochemical and biological approaches. Both Remab6 and ReBaGs6 recognize clustered Tn structures, but most importantly do not recognize glycoforms of human IgA1 that contain potential cross-reactive Tn antigen structures. In flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analyses, Remab6 recognizes human cancer cell lines expressing the Tn antigen, but not their Tn-negative counterparts. In immunohistochemistry (IHC), Remab6 stains many human cancers in tissue array format but rarely stains normal tissues and then mostly intracellularly. We used these antibodies to identify several unique Tn-containing glycoproteins in Tn-positive Colo205 cells, indicating their utility for glycoproteomics in future biomarker studies. Thus, recombinant Remab6 and ReBaGs6 are useful for biochemical characterization of cancer cells and IHC of tumors and represent promising tools for Tn biomarker discovery independently of recognition of IgA1.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects 6.8 million people globally. A variety of factors have been implicated in IBD pathogenesis, including host genetics, immune dysregulation and gut microbiota alterations. Emerging evidence implicates intestinal epithelial glycosylation as an underappreciated process that interfaces with these three factors. IBD is associated with increased expression of truncated O-glycans as well as altered expression of terminal glycan structures. IBD genes, glycosyltransferase mislocalization, altered glycosyltransferase and glycosidase expression and dysbiosis drive changes in the glycome. These glycan changes disrupt the mucus layer, glycan-lectin interactions, host-microorganism interactions and mucosal immunity, and ultimately contribute to IBD pathogenesis. Epithelial glycans are especially critical in regulating the gut microbiota through providing bacterial ligands and nutrients and ultimately determining the spatial organization of the gut microbiota. In this Review, we discuss the regulation of intestinal epithelial glycosylation, altered epithelial glycosylation in IBD and mechanisms for how these alterations contribute to disease pathobiology. We hope that this Review provides a foundation for future studies on IBD glycosylation and the emergence of glycan-inspired therapies for IBD.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are a growing group of inborn metabolic disorders with multiorgan presentation. SLC39A8-CDG is a severe subtype caused by biallelic mutations in the manganese transporter SLC39A8, reducing levels of this essential cofactor for many enzymes including glycosyltransferases. The current diagnostic standard for disorders of N-glycosylation is the analysis of serum transferrin. Exome and Sanger sequencing were performed in two patients with severe neurodevelopmental phenotypes suggestive of CDG. Transferrin glycosylation was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and isoelectric focusing in addition to comprehensive N-glycome analysis using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to quantify whole blood manganese levels. Both patients presented with a severe, multisystem disorder, and a complex neurological phenotype. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a Leigh-like syndrome with bilateral T2 hyperintensities of the basal ganglia. In patient 1, exome sequencing identified the previously undescribed homozygous variant c.608T>C [p.F203S] in SLC39A8. Patient 2 was found to be homozygous for c.112G>C [p.G38R]. Both individuals showed a reduction of whole blood manganese, though transferrin glycosylation was normal. N-glycome using MALDI-TOF MS identified an increase of the asialo-agalactosylated precursor N-glycan A2G1S1 and a decrease in bisected structures. In addition, analysis of heterozygous CDG-allele carriers identified similar but less severe glycosylation changes. Despite its reliance as a clinical gold standard, analysis of transferrin glycosylation cannot be categorically used to rule out SLC39A8-CDG. These results emphasize that SLC39A8-CDG presents as a spectrum of dysregulated glycosylation, and MS is an important tool for identifying deficiencies not detected by conventional methods.
Protein glycosylation represents a nearly ubiquitous post-translational modification, and altered glycosylation can result in clinically significant pathological consequences. Here we focus on O-glycosylation in tumor cells of mice and humans. O-glycans are those linked to serine and threonine (Ser/Thr) residues via N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), which are oligosaccharides that occur widely in glycoproteins, such as those expressed on the surfaces and in secretions of all cell types. The structure and expression of O-glycans are dependent on the cell type and disease state of the cells. There is a great interest in O-glycosylation of tumor cells, as they typically express many altered types of O-glycans compared with untransformed cells. Such altered expression of glycans, quantitatively and/or qualitatively on different glycoproteins, is used as circulating tumor biomarkers, such as CA19-9 and CA-125. Other tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs), such as the Tn antigen and sialyl-Tn antigen (STn), are truncated O-glycans commonly expressed by carcinomas on multiple glycoproteins; they contribute to tumor development and serve as potential biomarkers for tumor presence and stage, both in immunohistochemistry and in serum diagnostics. Here we discuss O-glycosylation in murine and human cells with a focus on colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancers, centering on the structure, function and recognition of O-glycans. There are enormous opportunities to exploit our knowledge of O-glycosylation in tumor cells to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics.
Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) play a critical role in the innate immune response to invading pathogens. However, dysregulated mucosal trafficking of PMNs and associated epithelial tissue damage is a pathological hallmark of numerous inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel disease. The glycoprotein CD11b/CD18 plays a well-described role in regulating PMN transepithelial migration and PMN inflammatory functions. Previous studies have demonstrated that targeting of the N-linked glycan Lewis X on CD11b blocks PMN transepithelial migration (TEpM). Given evidence of glycosylation-dependent regulation of CD11b/CD18 function, we performed MALDI TOF Mass Spectrometry (MS) analyses on CD11b/CD18 purified from human PMNs. Unusual glycan epitopes identified on CD11b/CD18 included high Mannose oligosaccharides recognized by the Galanthus Nivalis lectin and biantennary galactosylated N-glycans recognized by the Phaseolus Vulgaris erythroagglutinin lectin. Importantly, we show that selective targeting of glycans on CD11b with such lectins results in altered intracellular signaling events that inhibit TEpM and differentially affect key PMN inflammatory functions including phagocytosis, superoxide release and apoptosis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that discrete glycan motifs expressed on CD11b/CD18 such as biantennary galactose could represent novel targets for selective manipulation of CD11b function and reduction of PMN-associated tissue damage in chronic inflammatory diseases.
The spike (S) glycoprotein in the envelope of SARS-CoV-2 is densely glycosylated but the functions of its glycosylation are unknown. Here we demonstrate that S is recognized in a glycan-dependent manner by multiple innate immune receptors including the mannose receptor MR/CD206, DC-SIGN/CD209, L-SIGN/CD209L, and MGL/CLEC10A/CD301. Single-cell RNA sequencing analyses indicate that such receptors are highly expressed in innate immune cells in tissues susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Binding of the above receptors to S is characterized by affinities in the picomolar range and consistent with S glycosylation analysis demonstrating a variety of N- and O-glycans as receptor ligands. These results indicate multiple routes for SARS-CoV-2 to interact with human cells and suggest alternative strategies for therapeutic intervention.