The core 1 beta1-3-galactosyltransferase (T-synthase) transfers Gal from UDP-Gal to GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr (Tn antigen) to form the core 1 O-glycan Galbeta1-3GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr (T antigen). The T antigen is a precursor for extended and branched O-glycans of largely unknown function. We found that wild-type mice expressed the NeuAcalpha2-3Galbeta1-3GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr primarily in endothelial, hematopoietic, and epithelial cells during development. Gene-targeted mice lacking T-synthase instead expressed the nonsialylated Tn antigen in these cells and developed brain hemorrhage that was uniformly fatal by embryonic day 14. T-synthase-deficient brains formed a chaotic microvascular network with distorted capillary lumens and defective association of endothelial cells with pericytes and extracellular matrix. These data reveal an unexpected requirement for core 1-derived O-glycans during angiogenesis.
Human galectin-1 is a dimeric carbohydrate binding protein (Gal-1) (subunit 14.6 kDa) widely expressed by many cells but whose carbohydrate binding specificity is not well understood. Because of conflicting evidence regarding the ability of human Gal-1 to recognize N-acetyllactosamine (LN, Galbeta4GlcNAc) and poly-N-acetyllactosamine sequences (PL, [-3Galbeta4GlcNAcbeta1-]n), we synthesized a number of neoglycoproteins containing galactose, N-acetylgalactosamine, fucose, LN, PL, and chimeric polysaccharides conjugated to bovine serum albumin (BSA). All neoglycoproteins were characterized by MALDI-TOF. Binding was determined in ELISA-type assays with immobilized neoglycoproteins and apparent binding affinities were estimated. For comparison, we also tested the binding of these neoglycoconjugates to Ricinus communis agglutinin I, (RCA-I, a galactose-binding lectin) and Lycopersicon esculentum agglutinin (LEA, or tomato lectin), a PL-binding lectin. Gal-1 bound to immobilized Galbeta4GlcNAcbeta3Galbeta4Glc-BSA with an apparent K(d) of approximately 23 micro M but bound better to BSA conjugates with long PL and chimeric polysaccharide sequences (K(d)'s ranging from 11.9 +/- 2.9 microM to 20.9 +/- 5.1 micro M). By contrast, Gal-1 did not bind glycans lacking a terminal, nonreducing unmodified LN disaccharide and also bound very poorly to lactosyl-BSA (Galbeta4Glc-BSA). By contrast, RCA bound well to all glycans containing terminal, nonreducing Galbeta1-R, including lactosyl-BSA, and bound independently of the modification of the terminal, nonreducing LN or the presence of PL. LEA bound with increasing affinity to unmodified PL in proportion to chain length. Thus Gal-1 binds terminal beta4Gal residues, and its binding affinity is enhanced significantly by the presence of this determinant on long-chain PL or chimeric polysaccharides.
Infections by parasitic protozoans and helminths are a major world-wide health concern, but no vaccines exist to the major human parasitic diseases, such as malaria, African trypanosomiasis, amebiasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and lymphatic filariasis. Recent studies on a number of parasites indicate that immune responses to parasites in infected animals and humans are directed to glycan determinants within cell surface and secreted glycoconjugates and that glycoconjugates are important in host-parasite interactions. Because of the tremendous success achieved recently in generating carbohydrate-protein conjugate vaccines toward microbial infections, such as Haemophilus influenzae type b, there is renewed interest in defining parasite-derived glycans in the prospect of developing conjugate vaccines and new diagnostics for parasitic infections. Parasite-derived glycans are compelling vaccine targets because they have structural features that distinguish them from mammalian glycans. There have been exciting new developments in techniques for glycan analysis and the methods for synthesizing oligosaccharides by chemical or combined chemo-enzymatic approaches that now make it feasible to generate parasite glycans to test as vaccine candidates. Here, we highlight recent progress made in elucidating the immunogenicity of glycans from some of the major human and animal parasites, the potential for developing conjugate vaccines for parasitic infections, and the possible utilization of these novel glycans in diagnostics.
Although Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc (LacNAc) moieties are the most common constituents of N-linked glycans on vertebrate proteins, GalNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc (LacdiNAc, LDN)-containing glycans are widespread in invertebrates, such as helminths. We postulated that LDN might be a molecular pattern for recognition of helminth parasites by the immune system. Using LDN-based affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, we have identified galectin-3 as the major LDN-binding protein in macrophages. By contrast, LDN binding was not observed with galectin-1. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis and a solid phase binding assay demonstrated that galectin-3 binds directly to neoglycoconjugates carrying LDN glycans. In addition, galectin-3 bound to Schistosoma mansoni soluble egg Ags and a mAb against the LDN glycan inhibited this binding, suggesting that LDN glycans within S. mansoni soluble egg Ags contribute to galectin-3 binding. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated high levels of galectin-3 in liver granulomas of S. mansoni-infected hamsters, and a colocalization of galectin-3 and LDN glycans was observed on the parasite eggshells. Finally, we demonstrate that galectin-3 can mediate recognition and phagocytosis of LDN-coated particles by macrophages. These findings provide evidence that LDN-glycans constitute a parasite pattern for galectin-3-mediated immune recognition.
Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) occurs as both a membrane and a soluble, secreted glycoprotein (sICAM-1). ICAM-1 on endothelial cells mediates leukocyte adhesion by binding to leukocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and macrophage antigen-1 (Mac-1). Recombinant mouse sICAM-1 induces the production of macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) in mouse astrocytes by a novel LFA-1- and Mac-1-independent mechanism. Here we showed that N-glycan structures of sICAM-1 influence its ability to induce MIP-2 production. sICAM-1 expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells was a more potent inducer of MIP-2 production than sICAM-1 expressed in HEK 293 cells, suggesting that posttranslational modification of sICAM-1 could influence its signaling activity. To explore the roles of glycosylation in sICAM-1 activity, we expressed sICAM-1 in mutant CHO cell lines differing in glycosylation, including Lec2, Lec8, and Lec1 as well as in CHO cells cultured in the presence of the alpha-mannosidase-I inhibitor kifunensine. Signaling activity of sICAM-1 lacking sialic acid was reduced 3-fold compared with sICAM-1 from CHO cells. The activity of sICAM-1 lacking both sialic acid and galactose was reduced 12-fold, whereas the activity of sICAM-1 carrying only high mannose-type N-glycans was reduced 12-26-fold. sICAM-1 glycoforms carrying truncated glycans retained full ability to bind to LFA-1 on leukocytes. Thus, sialylated and galactosylated complex-type N-glycans strongly enhanced the ability of sICAM-1 to induce MIP-2 production in astrocytes but did not alter its binding to LFA-1 on leukocytes. Glycosylation could therefore serve as a means to regulate specifically the signaling function of sICAM-1 in vivo.