Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most lethal genetic disorder in Caucasians and is characterized by the production of excessive amounts of viscous mucus secretions in the airways of patients, leading to airway obstruction, chronic bacterial infections, and respiratory failure. Previous studies indicate that CF-derived airway mucins are glycosylated and sulfated differently compared with mucins from nondiseased (ND) individuals. To address unresolved questions about mucin glycosylation and sulfation, we examined O-glycan structures in mucins purified from mucus secretions of two CF donors versus two ND donors. All mucins contained galactose (Gal), N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), fucose (Fuc), and sialic acid (Neu5Ac). However, CF mucins had higher sugar content and more O-glycans compared with ND mucins. Both ND and CF mucins contained GlcNAc-6-sulfate (GlcNAc-6-Sul), Gal-6-Sul, and Gal-3-Sul, but CF mucins had higher amounts of the 6-sulfated species. O-glycans were released from CF and ND mucins and derivatized with 2-aminobenzamide (2-AB), separated by ion exchange chromatography, and quantified by fluorescence. There was nearly a two-fold increase in sulfation and sialylation in CF compared with ND mucin. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) profiles of glycans showed differences between the two CF samples compared with the two ND samples. Glycan compositions were defined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Unexpectedly, 260 compositional types of O-glycans were identified, and CF mucins contained a higher proportion of sialylated and sulfated O-glycans compared with ND mucins. These profound structural differences in mucin glycosylation in CF patients may contribute to inflammatory responses and increased pathogenesis by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Apoptotic cells redistribute phosphatidylserine (PS) to the cell surface by both Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Binding of dimeric galectin-1 (dGal-1) to glycoconjugates on N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP)-activated neutrophils exposes PS and facilitates neutrophil phagocytosis by macrophages, yet it does not initiate apoptosis. We asked whether dGal-1 initiated Ca(2+) fluxes that are required to redistribute PS to the surface of activated neutrophils. Prolonged occupancy by dGal-1 was required to maximally mobilize PS to the surfaces of fMLP-activated neutrophils. Like fMLP, dGal-1 rapidly elevated cytosolic Ca(2+) levels in Fluo-4-loaded neutrophils. An initial Ca(2+) mobilization from intracellular stores was followed by movement of extracellular Ca(2+) to the cytosolic compartment, with return to basal Ca(2+) levels within 10 min. Chelation of extracellular Ca(2+) did not prevent PS mobilization. Chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) revealed that fMLP and dGal-1 independently release Ca(2+) from intracellular stores that cooperate to induce optimal redistribution of PS. Ca(2+) mobilization by ionomycin did not permit dGal-1 to mobilize PS, indicating that fMLP initiated both Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent signals that facilitated dGal-1-induced exposure of PS. dGal-1 elevated cytosolic Ca(2+) and mobilized PS through a pathway that required action of Src kinases and phospholipase Cgamma. These results demonstrate that transient Ca(2+) fluxes contribute to a sustained redistribution of PS on neutrophils activated with fMLP and dGal-1.
Galectin-1 is a member of the galectin family of glycan-binding proteins and occurs as an approximately 29.5-kDa noncovalent homodimer (dGal-1) that is widely expressed in many tissues. Here, we report that human recombinant dGal-1 bound preferentially and with high affinity (apparent K(d) approximately 2-4 microM) to immobilized extended glycans containing terminal N-acetyllactosamine (LN; Galbeta1-4GlcNAc) sequences on poly-N-acetyllactosamine (PL; (-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-)(n)) sequences, complex-type biantennary N-glycans, or novel chitin-derived glycans modified to contain terminal LN. Although terminal Gal residues are important for dGal-1 recognition, dGal-1 bound similarly to alpha3-sialylated and alpha2-fucosylated terminal LN, but not to alpha6-sialylated and alpha3-fucosylated terminal LN. The binding specificity of human recombinant dGal-1 was similar to that observed with purified bovine heart-derived dGal-1. Unexpectedly, dGal-1 bound free ligands in solution with relatively low affinity and displayed no preference for extended glycans, indicating that dGal-1 preferentially recognizes extended glycans only when they are surface-bound, such as found on cell surfaces. Human dGal-1 also bound to both native and desialylated human promyelocytic HL-60 cells with similar affinity as observed for immobilized long chain PL. Binding to these cells was reduced upon treatment with endo-beta-galactosidase, which cleaves PL sequences, indicating that cell-surface PLs are ligands. To test the role of dimerization in dGal-1 binding, we examined the binding of a mutated form of dGal-1 that weakly dimerizes (monomeric Gal-1 (mGal-1)) and a covalently dimerized (chemically cross-linked) form of mGal-1 (cd-mGal-1). dGal-1 and cd-mGal-1 had similar affinities that were both approximately 3.5-fold higher for immobilized PL than observed for mGal-1, suggesting that dGal-1 acts as a dimer to cross-link terminal LN units on immobilized PL. These results indicate that dGal-1 functions as a dimer to recognize LN units on extended PLs on cell surfaces.
Glycans containing the GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc (LacdiNAc or LDN) motif are expressed by many invertebrates, but this motif also occurs in vertebrates and is found on several mammalian glycoprotein hormones. This motif contrasts with the more commonly occurring Galbeta1-4GlcNAc (LacNAc or LN) motif. To better understand LDN biosynthesis and regulation, we stably expressed the cDNA encoding the Caenorhabditis elegans beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (GalNAcT), which generates LDN in vitro, in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) Lec8 cells, to establish L8-GalNAcT CHO cells. The glycan structures from these cells were determined by mass spectrometry and linkage analysis. The L8-GalNAcT cell line produces complex-type N-glycans quantitatively bearing LDN structures on their antennae. Unexpectedly, most of these complex-type N-glycans contain novel "poly-LDN" structures consisting of repeating LDN motifs (-3GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-)n. These novel structures are in contrast to the well known poly-LN structures consisting of repeating LN motifs (-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-)n. We also stably expressed human alpha1,3-fucosyltransferase IX in the L8-GalNAcT cells to establish a new cell line, L8-GalNAcT-FucT. These cells produce complex-type N-glycans with alpha1,3-fucosylated LDN (LDNF) GalNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-R as well as novel "poly-LDNF" structures (-3GalNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha 1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-)n. The ability of these cell lines to generate glycoprotein hormones with LDN-containing N-glycans was studied by expressing a recombinant form of the common alpha-subunit in L8-GalNAcT cells. The alpha-subunit N-glycans carried LDN structures, which were further modified by co-expression of the human GalNAc 4-sulfotransferase I, which generates SO4-4GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc-R. Thus, the generation of these stable mammalian cells will facilitate future studies on the biological activities and properties of LDN-related structures in glycoproteins.
Tn syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease in which subpopulations of blood cells in all lineages carry an incompletely glycosylated membrane glycoprotein, known as the Tn antigen. This truncated antigen has the sugar N-acetylgalactosamine alpha-linked to either a serine or threonine amino-acid residue, whereas the correct T antigen has an additional terminal galactose; the defect may be due to a malfunction of the glycosylating enzyme T-synthase. Here we show that Tn syndrome is associated with a somatic mutation in Cosmc, a gene on the X chromosome that encodes a molecular 'chaperone' that is required for the proper folding and hence full activity of T-synthase. The production of the autoimmune Tn antigen by a glycosyltransferase enzyme rendered defective by a disabled chaperone may have implications for other Tn-related disorders such as IgA nephropathy, a condition that can result in renal failure.
The new field of functional glycomics encompasses information about both glycan structure and recognition by carbohydrate-binding proteins (CBPs) and is now being explored through glycan array technology. Glycan array construction, however, is limited by the complexity of efficiently generating derivatives of free, reducing glycans with primary amines for conjugation. Here we describe a straightforward method to derivatize glycans with 2,6-diaminopyridine (DAP) to generate fluorescently labeled glycans (glycan-DAP conjugates or GDAPs) that contain a primary amine for further conjugation. We converted a wide variety of glycans, including milk sugars, N-glycans, glycosaminoglycans and chitin-derived glycans, to GDAPs, as verified by HPLC and mass spectrometry. We covalently conjugated GDAPs to N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS)-activated glass slides, maleimide-activated protein, carboxylated microspheres and NHS-biotin to provide quantifiable fluorescent derivatives. All types of conjugated glycans were well-recognized by appropriate CBPs. Thus, GDAP derivatives provide versatile new tools for biologists to quantify and covalently capture minute quantities of glycans for exploring their structures and functions and generating new glycan arrays from naturally occurring glycans.