Galectin-8 has two different carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs), the N-terminal Gal-8N and the C-terminal Gal-8C linked by a peptide, and has various effects on cell adhesion and signaling. To understand the mechanism for these effects further, we compared the binding activities of galectin-8 in solution with its binding and activation of cells. We used glycan array analysis to broaden the specificity profile of the two galectin-8 CRDs, as well as intact galectin-8s (short and long linker), confirming the unique preference for sulfated and sialylated glycans of Gal-8N. Using a fluorescence anisotropy assay, we examined the solution affinities for a subset of these glycans, the highest being 50 nM for NeuAcalpha2,3Lac by Gal-8N. Thus, carbohydrate-protein interactions can be of high affinity without requiring multivalency. More importantly, using fluorescence polarization, we also gained information on how the affinity is built by multiple weak interactions between different fragments of the glycan and its carrier molecule and the galectin CRD subsites (A-E). In intact galectin-8 proteins, the two domains act independently of each other in solution, whereas at a surface they act together. Ligands with moderate or weak affinity for the isolated CRDs on the array are bound strongly by intact galectin-8s. Also galectin-8 binding and signaling at cell surfaces can be explained by combined binding of the two CRDs to low or medium affinity ligands, and their highest affinity ligands, such as sialylated galactosides, are not required.
Cellular turnover is associated with exposure of surface phosphatidylserine (PS) in apoptotic cells, leading to their phagocytic recognition and removal. But recent studies indicate that surface PS exposure is not always associated with apoptosis. Here we show that several members of the human galectin family of glycan binding proteins (galectins-1, -2, and -4) induce PS exposure in a carbohydrate-dependent fashion in activated, but not resting, human neutrophils and in several leukocyte cell lines. PS exposure is not associated with apoptosis in activated neutrophils. The exposure of PS in cell lines treated with these galectins is sustained and does not affect cell viability. Unexpectedly, these galectins bind well to activated T lymphocytes, but do not induce either PS exposure or apoptosis, indicating that galectin's effects are cell specific. These results suggest novel immunoregulatory contribution of galectins in regulating leukocyte turnover independently of apoptosis.
The genome of Caenorhabditis elegans encodes five genes with homology to known alpha1,3 fucosyltransferases (alpha1,3FTs), but their expression and functions are poorly understood. Here we report the molecular cloning and characterization of these C. elegans alpha1,3FTs (CEFT-1 through -5). The open-reading frame for each enzyme predicts a type II transmembrane protein and multiple potential N-glycosylation sites. We prepared recombinant epitope-tagged forms of each CEFT and found that they had unusual acceptor specificity, cation requirements, and temperature sensitivity. CEFT-1 acted on the N-glycan pentasaccharide core acceptor to generate Manalpha1-3(Manalpha1-6)Manbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-Asn. In contrast, CEFT-2 did not act on the pentasaccharide acceptor, but instead utilized a LacdiNAc acceptor to generate GalNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4Glc, which is a novel activity. CEFT-3 utilized a LacNAc acceptor to generate Galbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4Glc without requiring cations. CEFT-4 was similar to CEFT-3, but its activity was enhanced by some divalent cations. Recombinant CEFT-5 was well expressed, but did not act on available acceptors. Each CEFT was optimally active at room temperature and rapidly lost activity at 37 degrees C. Promoter analysis showed that CEFT-1 is expressed in C. elegans eggs and adults, but its expression was restricted to a few neuronal cells at the head and tail. We prepared deletion mutants for each enzyme for phenotypic analysis. While loss of CEFT-1 correlated with loss of pentasaccharide core activity and core alpha1,3-fucosylated glycans in worms, loss of other enzymes did not correlate with any phenotypic changes. These results suggest that each of the alpha1,3FTs in C. elegans has unique specificity and expression patterns.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is a leading cause of their morbidity and mortality. Pathogenesis is initiated in part by molecular interactions of P. aeruginosa with carbohydrate residues in airway mucins that accumulate in the lungs of patients with this disease. To explore the nature of the glycans recognized by a stable, mucoid, alginate-producing strain P. aeruginosa 8830 we generated a genetically modified Pa8830 expressing green fluorescent protein (Pa3380-GFP). We tested its binding to a panel of glycolipids and neoglycolipids in which selected glycans were covalently attached to dipalmitoyl phosphatidylethanolamine and analyzed on silica gel surfaces. Among all glycans tested, Pa8830-GFP bound best to sialyl-Le(x)-containing glycan NeuAc(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc-R and bound weakly to H-type blood group Fucalpha1-2Galbeta1-4GlcNAc-R, sialyl-lactose, and Le(x), and exhibited little binding toward non-fucosylated derivatives. Interestingly, while Pa8830-GFP bound to the glycosphingolipid asialoGM1, it did not appear to bind to a wide variety of other glycosphingolipids including GM1, GM2, asialoGM2, and sulfatide. These results indicate that P. aeruginosa 8830 has preferential binding to sialyl-Le(x)-containing glycans and has weak recognition of related fucose- and sialic acid-containing glycans. The finding that Pa8830 binds sialyl-Le(x)-containing glycans, which occur at increased levels in mucins from CF patients, is consistent with studies of other strains of P. aeruginosa and further suggests that such glycans on CF mucins contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Fertilization in mammals requires sperm to bind to the zona pellucida (ZP) that surrounds the egg. Galactose (Gal) or N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues on the glycans of ZP protein 3 (ZP3) have been implicated as mouse sperm receptors. However, Mgat1(-/-) eggs with modified N-glycans lacking terminal Gal and GlcNAc residues are fertilized. To determine if Gal and GlcNAc on O-glycans of the ZP are required for fertilization, a conditional allele of the T-synthase gene (T-syn(F)) was generated. T-syn encodes core 1 beta1,3-galactosyltransferase 1 (T-synthase), which initiates the synthesis of core-1-derived O-glycans, the only O-glycans on mouse ZP3. T-syn(F/F):ZP3Cre females in which T-syn(F) was deleted at the beginning of oogenesis generated eggs lacking core-1-derived O-glycans. Nevertheless, T-syn(F/F):ZP3Cre females were fertile and their eggs bound sperm similarly to controls. In addition, T-syn(-/-) embryos generated from T-syn null eggs developed until approximately E12.5. Thus, core-1-derived O-glycans are not required for blastogenesis, implantation, or development prior to midgestation. Moreover, T-syn(-/-)Mgat1(-/-) eggs lacking complex and hybrid N-glycans as well as core-1-derived O-glycans were fertilized. The combined data show that mouse ZP3 does not require terminal Gal or GlcNAc on either N- or O-glycans for fertilization.
We investigated the binding of human parainfluenza virus types 1 and 3 (hPIV1 and hPIV3, respectively) to the glycan array of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics and binding and their release from erythrocytes under conditions where neuraminidase is inactive or active. hPIV1 and hPIV3 bind modifications of Neu5Acalpha2-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAc, including the sialyl-Lewis(x) motif and structures containing 6-sulfogalactose. hPIV1 and hPIV3 thus bind typical N-linked glycans, in contrast to avian influenza virus H5 hemagglutinin (J. Stevens, O. Blixt, T. M. Tumpey, J. K. Taubenberger, J. C. Paulson, and I. A. Wilson, Science 312:404-410, 2006), which binds less-common motifs. While the receptor is not the sole determinant of tropism, hPIV or H5 influenza virus infection of specific cells that express receptors may contribute to their different pathologies.
Altered intestinal O-glycan expression has been observed in patients with ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer, but the role of this alteration in the etiology of these diseases is unknown. O-glycans in mucin core proteins are the predominant components of the intestinal mucus, which comprises part of the intestinal mucosal barrier. Core 3-derived O-glycans, which are one of the major types of O-glycans, are primarily expressed in the colon. To investigate the biological function of core 3-derived O-glycans, we engineered mice lacking core 3 beta1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (C3GnT), an enzyme predicted to be important in the synthesis of core 3-derived O-glycans. Disruption of the C3GnT gene eliminated core 3-derived O-glycans. C3GnT-deficient mice displayed a discrete, colon-specific reduction in Muc2 protein and increased permeability of the intestinal barrier. Moreover, these mice were highly susceptible to experimental triggers of colitis and colorectal adenocarcinoma. These data reveal a requirement for core 3-derived O-glycans in resistance to colonic disease.
The basic biochemical mechanisms underlying many heritable human polycystic diseases are unknown despite evidence that most cases are caused by mutations in members of several protein families, the most prominent being the polycystin gene family, whose products are found on the primary cilia, or due to mutations in posttranslational processing and transport. Inherited polycystic kidney disease, the most prevalent polycystic disease, currently affects approximately 500,000 people in the United States. Decreases in proteoglycans (PGs) have been found in tissues and cultured cells from patients who suffer from autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, and this PG decrease has been hypothesized to be responsible for cystogenesis. This is possible because alterations in PG concentrations would be predicted to disrupt many homeostatic mechanisms of growth, development, and metabolism. To test this hypothesis, we have generated mice lacking xylosyltransferase 2 (XylT2), an enzyme involved in PG biosynthesis. Here we show that inactivation of XylT2 results in a substantial reduction in PGs and a phenotype characteristic of many aspects of polycystic liver and kidney disease, including biliary epithelial cysts, renal tubule dilation, organ fibrosis, and basement membrane abnormalities. Our findings demonstrate that alterations in PG concentrations can occur due to loss of XylT2, and that reduced PGs can induce cyst development.
BACKGROUND: Human influenza viruses are known to bind to sialic acid linked alpha2-6 to galactose, but the binding specificity beyond that linkage has not been systematically examined. H3N2 human influenza isolates lost binding to chicken red cells in the 1990s but viruses isolated since 2003 have re-acquired the ability to agglutinate chicken erythrocytes. We have investigated specificity of binding, changes in hemagglutinin sequence of the recent viruses and the role of sialic acid in productive infection.
RESULTS: Viruses that agglutinate, or do not agglutinate, chicken red cells show identical binding to a Glycan Array of 264 oligosaccharides, binding exclusively to a subset of alpha2-6-sialylsaccharides. We identified an amino acid change in hemagglutinin that seemed to correlate with chicken red cell binding but when tested by mutagenesis there was no effect. Recombinant hemagglutinins expressed on Sf-9 cells bound chicken red cells but the released recombinant baculoviruses agglutinated only human red cells. Similarly, an isolate that does not agglutinate chicken red cells show hemadsorption of chicken red cells to infected MDCK cells. We suggest that binding of chicken red cells to cell surface hemagglutinin but not to virions is due to a more favorable hemagglutinin density on the cell surface. We investigated whether a virus specific for alpha2-6 sialyloligosaccharides shows differential entry into cells that have varying proportions of alpha2-6 and alpha2-3 sialic acids, including human A549 and HeLa cells with high levels of alpha2-6 sialic acid, and CHO cells that have only alpha2-3 sialic acid. We found that the virus enters all cell types tested and synthesizes viral nucleoprotein, localized in the nucleus, and hemagglutinin, transported to the cell surface, but infectious progeny viruses were released only from MDCK cells.
CONCLUSION: Agglutination of chicken red cells does not correlate with altered binding to any oligosaccharide on the Glycan Array, and may result from increased avidity due to density of hemagglutinin and not increased affinity. Absence of alpha2-6 sialic acid does not protect a cell from influenza infection and the presence of high levels of alpha2-6-sialic acids on a cell surface does not guarantee productive replication of a virus with alpha2-6 receptor specificity.
Previous observations that in vitro adherence of Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic (Bge) cells to sporocyst larval stages of Schistosoma mansoni was strongly inhibited by fucoidan, a sulfated polymer of L-fucose, suggested a role for lectinlike Bge cell receptors in sporocyst binding interactions. In the present investigation, monoclonal antibodies with specificities to 3 major glycan determinants found on schistosomes, LacdiNAc, fucosylated LacdiNAc (LDNF), and the Lewis X antigen, were used in adhesion blocking studies to further analyze the molecular interactions at the host-parasite interface. Results showed that only the anti-LDNF antibody significantly reduced snail Bge cell adhesion to the surface of sporocysts, suggesting that fucosyl determinants may be important in larval-host cell interactions. Affinity chromatographic separation of fucosyl-reactive Bge cell proteins from fucoidan-bound Sepharose 4B revealed the presence of polypeptides ranging from 6 to 200 kDa after elution with fucoidan-containing buffer. Pre-elution of the Bge protein-bound affinity column with dextran (Dex) and dextran sulfate (DexS) before introduction of the fucoidan buffer served as controls for protein binding based on nonspecific sugar or negative charge interactions. A subset of polypeptides (approximately 35-150 kDa) released by fucoidan elution was identified as Bge surface membrane proteins, representing putative fucosyl-binding proteins. Far-western blot analysis also demonstrated binding reactivity between Bge cell and sporocyst tegumental proteins. The finding that several of these parasite-binding Bge cell proteins were also fucoidan-reactive suggests the possible involvement of these molecules in mediating cellular interactions with sporocyst tegumental carbohydrates. It is concluded that Bge cells have surface protein(s) that may be playing a role in facilitating host cell adhesion to the surface of schistosome primary sporocysts through larval fucosylated glycoconjugates.