Here we present a Caenorhabditis elegans N-glycan shotgun array. This nematode serves as a model organism for many areas of biology including but not limited to tissue development, host–pathogen interactions, innate immunity, and genetics. Caenorhabditis elegans N-glycans contain structural motifs that are also found in other nematodes as well as trematodes and lepidopteran species. Glycan binding toxins that interact with C. elegansglycoconjugates also do so with some agriculturally relevant species, such as Haemonchus contortus, Ascaris suum, Oesophagostomum dentatum and Trichoplusia ni. This situation implies that protein–carbohydrate interactions seen with C. elegans glycans may also occur in other species with related glycan structures. Therefore, this array may be useful to study these relationships in other nematodes as well as trematode and insect species. The array contains 134 distinct glycomers spanning a wide range of C. elegans N-glycans including the subclasses high mannose, pauci mannose, high fucose, mammalian-like complex and phosphorylcholine substituted forms. The glycans presented on the array have been characterized by two-dimensional separation, ion trap mass spectrometry, and lectin affinity. High fucose glycans were well represented and contain many novel core structures found in C. elegans as well as other species. This array should serve as an investigative platform for carbohydrate binding proteins that interact with N-glycans of C. elegans and over a range of organisms that contain glycan motifs conserved with this nematode.
Infection with parasitic helminths affects humanity and animal welfare. Parasitic helminths have the capacity to modulate host immune responses to promote their survival in infected hosts, often for a long time leading to chronic infections. In contrast to many infectious microbes, however, the helminths are able to induce immune responses that show positive bystander effects such as the protection to several immune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and allergies. They generally promote the generation of a tolerogenic immune microenvironment including the induction of type 2 (Th2) responses and a sub-population of alternatively activated macrophages. It is proposed that this anti-inflammatory response enables helminths to survive in their hosts and protects the host from excessive pathology arising from infection with these large pathogens. In any case, there is an urgent need to enhance understanding of how helminths beneficially modulate inflammatory reactions, to identify the molecules involved and to promote approaches to exploit this knowledge for future therapeutic interventions. Evidence is increasing that C-type lectins play an important role in driving helminth-mediated immune responses. C-type lectins belong to a large family of calcium-dependent receptors with broad glycan specificity. They are abundantly present on immune cells, such as dendritic cells and macrophages, which are essential in shaping host immune responses. Here, we will focus on the role of the C-type lectin macrophage mannose receptor (MR) in helminth-host interactions, which is a critically understudied area in the field of helminth immunobiology. We give an overview of the structural aspects of the MR including its glycan specificity, and the functional implications of the MR in helminth-host interactions focusing on a few selected helminth species.
Secretory granules released by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are powerful weapons against intracellular microbes and tumor cells. Despite significant progress, there is still limited information on the molecular mechanisms implicated in target-driven degranulation, effector cell survival and composition and structure of the lytic granules. Here, using a proteomic approach we identified a panel of putative cytotoxic granule proteins, including some already known granule constituents and novel proteins that contribute to regulate the CTL lytic machinery. Particularly, we identified galectin-1 (Gal1), an endogenous immune regulatory lectin, as an integral component of the secretory granule machinery and unveil the unexpected function of this lectin in regulating CTL killing activity. Mechanistic studies revealed the ability of Gal1 to control the non-secretory lytic pathway by influencing Fas-Fas ligand interactions. This study offers new insights on the composition of the cytotoxic granule machinery, highlighting the dynamic cross talk between secretory and non-secretory pathways in controlling CTL lytic function.
Synthesis of homogenous glycans in quantitative yields represents a major bottleneck to the production of molecular tools for glycoscience, such as glycan microarrays, affinity resins, and reference standards. Here, we describe a combined biological/enzymatic synthesis that is capable of efficiently converting microbially-derived precursor oligosaccharides into structurally uniform human-type N-glycans. Unlike starting material obtained by chemical synthesis or direct isolation from natural sources, which can be time consuming and costly to generate, our approach involves precursors derived from renewable sources including wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae glycoproteins and lipid-linked oligosaccharides from glycoengineered Escherichia coli. Following deglycosylation of these biosynthetic precursors, the resulting microbial oligosaccharides are subjected to a greatly simplified purification scheme followed by structural remodeling using commercially available and recombinantly produced glycosyltransferases including key N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases (e.g., GnTI, GnTII, and GnTIV) involved in early remodeling of glycans in the mammalian glycosylation pathway. Using this approach, preparative quantities of hybrid and complex-type N-glycans including asymmetric multi-antennary structures were generated and subsequently used to develop a glycan microarray for high-throughput, fluorescence-based screening of glycan-binding proteins. Taken together, these results confirm our combined synthesis strategy as a new, user-friendly route for supplying chemically defined human glycans simply by combining biosynthetically-derived precursors with enzymatic remodeling.
LewisX (LeX) is a branched trisaccharide Galβ1→4(Fucα1→3)GlcNAc that is expressed on many cell surface glycoproteins and plays critical roles in innate and adaptive immune responses. However, efficient synthesis of glycopeptides bearing LeX remains a major limitation for structure-function studies of the LeX determinant. Here we report a total synthesis of a LeX pentasaccharide 1 using a regioselective 1-benzenesulfinyl piperidine/triflic anhydride promoted [3 + 2] glycosylation. The presence of an Fmoc-threonine amino acid facilitates incorporation of the pentasaccharide in solid phase peptide synthesis, providing a route to diverse O-linked LeX glycopeptides. The described approach is broadly applicable to the synthesis of a variety of complex glycopeptides containing O-linked LeX or sialyl LewisX (sLeX).
High-quality reagents to study and detect glycans with high specificity for research and clinical applications are severely lacking. Here, we structurally and functionally characterize several variable lymphocyte receptor (VLR)-based antibodies from lampreys immunized with O erythrocytes that specifically recognize the blood group H-trisaccharide type II antigen. Glycan microarray analysis and biophysical data reveal that these VLRs exhibit greater specificity for H-trisaccharide compared with the plant lectin UEA-1, which is widely used in blood typing. Among these antibodies, O13 exhibits superior specificity for H-trisaccharide, the basis for which is revealed by comparative analysis of high-resolution VLR:glycan crystal structures. Using a structure-guided approach, we designed an O13 mutant with further enhanced specificity for H-trisaccharide. These insights into glycan recognition by VLRs suggest that lampreys can produce highly specific glycan antibodies, and are a valuable resource for the production of next-generation glycan reagents for biological and biomedical research and as diagnostics and therapeutics.
PMN-expressed fucosylated glycans from the Lewis glycan family, including Lewis-x (Lex) and sialyl Lewis-x (sLex), have previously been implicated in the regulation of important PMN functions, including selectin-mediated trafficking across vascular endothelium. Although glycans, such as Lex and sLex, which are based on the type 2 sequence (Galβ1-4GlcNAc-R), are abundant on PMNs, the presence of type 1 Galβ1-3GlcNAc-R glycans required for PMN expression of the closely related stereoisomer of Lex, termed Lewis-A (Lea), has not, to our knowledge, been reported. Here, we show that Lea is abundantly expressed by human PMNs and functionally regulates PMN migration. Using mAbs whose precise epitopes were determined using glycan array technology, Lea function was probed using Lea-selective mAbs and lectins, revealing increased PMN transmigration across model intestinal epithelia, which was independent of epithelial-expressed LeaAnalyses of glycan synthetic machinery in PMNs revealed expression of β1-3 galactosyltransferase and α1-4 fucosyltransferase, which are required for Lea synthesis. Specificity of functional effects observed after ligation of Lea was confirmed by failure of anti-Lea mAbs to enhance migration using PMNs from individuals deficient in α1-4 fucosylation. These results demonstrate that Lea is expressed on human PMNs, and its specific engagement enhances PMN migration responses. We propose that PMN Lea represents a new target for modulating inflammation and regulating intestinal, innate immunity.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) are purified IgG preparations made from the pooled plasma from thousands of healthy donors and are being tested in preclinical mouse models. Inherent challenges, however, are the pluripotency of IVIG and its xenogeneicity in animals. IVIG can alter the viability of human neutrophils via agonistic antibodies to Fas and Siglec-9. In this study, we compared the effects of IVIG on human and mouse neutrophils using different death assays. Different commercial IVIG preparations similarly induced cytokine-dependent death in human neutrophils, whereas they had no effects on the survival of either peripheral blood or bone marrow neutrophils from C57BL/6 or BALB/c mice. F(ab’)2 but not Fc fragments of IVIG induced death of human neutrophils, whereas neither of these IVIG fragments, nor agonistic monoclonal antibodies to human Fas or Siglec-9 affected the viability of mouse neutrophils. Pooled mouse IgG, which exhibited a different immunoprofile compared to IVIG, also had no effect on mouse cells. Together, these observations demonstrate that effects of IVIG on neutrophil survival are not adequately reflected in current mouse models, despite the key role of these cells in human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Clinical trials have shown that administration of the nematode Trichuris suis can be beneficial in treating various immune disorders. To provide insight into the mechanisms by which this worm suppresses inflammatory responses, an active component was purified from T. suis soluble products (TsSPs) that suppress TNF and IL-12 secretion from LPS-activated human dendritic cells (DCs). Analysis by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry identified this compound as prostaglandin (PG)E2. The purified compound showed similar properties compared with TsSPs and commercial PGE2 in modulating LPS-induced expression of many cytokines and chemokines and in modulating Rab7B and P2RX7 expression in human DCs. Furthermore, the TsSP-induced reduction of TNF secretion from DCs is reversed by receptor antagonists for EP2 and EP4, indicating PGE2 action. T. suis secretes extremely high amounts of PGE2 (45–90 ng/mg protein) within their excretory/secretory products but few related lipid mediators as established by metabololipidomic analysis. Culture of T. suis with several cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors that inhibit mammalian prostaglandin synthesis affected the worm’s motility but did not inhibit PGE2 secretion, suggesting that the worms can synthesize PGE2 via a COX-independent pathway. We conclude that T. suis secretes PGE2 to suppress proinflammatory responses in human DCs, thereby modulating the host’s immune response.—Laan, L. C., Williams, A. R., Stavenhagen, K., Giera, M., Kooij, G., Vlasakov, I., Kalay, H., Kringel, H., Nejsum, P., Thamsborg, S. M., Wuhrer, M., Dijkstra, C. D., Cummings, R. D., van Die, I. The whipworm (Trichuris suis) secretes prostaglandin E2 to suppress proinflammatory properties in human dendritic cells
Cosmc is an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone necessary for normal protein O-GalNAc glycosylation through regulation of T-synthase, its single client. Loss-of-function of Cosmc results in expression of the Tn antigen, which is associated with multiple human diseases including cancer. Despite intense interest in dysregulated expression of the Tn antigen, little is known about the structure and function of Cosmc, including domain organization, secondary structure, oligomerization, and co-factors. Limited proteolysis experiments show that Cosmc contains a structured N-terminal domain (CosmcΔ256), and biochemical characterization of CosmcΔ256 reveals wild type chaperone activity. Interestingly, CosmcE152K, which shows loss of function in vivo, exhibits wild type-like activity in vitro. Cosmc and CosmcE152K heterogeneously oligomerize and form monomeric, dimeric, trimeric, and tetrameric species, while CosmcΔ256 is predominantly monomeric as characterized by chemical crosslinking and blue native page electrophoresis. Additionally, Cosmc selectively binds divalent cations in thermal shift assays and metal binding is abrogated by the CosmcΔ256 truncation, and perturbed by the E152K mutation. Therefore, the N-terminal domain of Cosmc mediates T-synthase binding and chaperone function, whereas the C-terminal domain is necessary for oligomerization and metal binding. Our results provide new structure-function insight to Cosmc, indicate that Cosmc behaves as a modular protein and suggests points of modulation or regulation of in vivo chaperone function.
Rapid and continued growth in the generation of glycomic data has revealed the need for enhanced development of basic infrastructure for presenting and interpreting these datasets in a manner that engages the broader biomedical research community. Early in their growth, the genomic and proteomic fields implemented mechanisms for assigning unique gene and protein identifiers that were essential for organizing data presentation and for enhancing bioinformatic approaches to extracting knowledge. Similar unique identifiers are currently absent from glycomic data. In order to facilitate continued growth and expanded accessibility of glycomic data, the authors strongly encourage the glycomics community to coordinate the submission of their glycan structures to the GlyTouCan Repository and to make use of GlyTouCan identifiers in their communications and publications. The authors also deeply encourage journals to recommend a submission workflow in which submitted publications utilize GlyTouCan identifiers as a standard reference for explicitly describing glycan structures cited in manuscripts.
The GDA1/CD39 ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) superfamily is a group of eight heavily glycosylated ecto-enzymes that hydrolyze extracellular nucleosides di- and tri-phosphates in the presence of divalent cations, to generate the monophosphate derivatives. This catalytic process differentially regulates a complex array of purinergic signaling responses. NTPDase3/CD39L3is dominantly expressed in pancreatic islet cells, where it may regulate insulin secretion, and has seven N-linked glycosylation sites with four close to five highly conserved domains called “apyrase conserved regions” (ACRs). In a manner similar to CD39, NTPDase3/CD39L3 uses ATP as its preferential substrate and also possesses significant activities toward other triphosphate and diphosphate nucleosides. To understand the mechanism of the ecto-NTPDase activity and substrate specificity, potentially impacted by N-glycans, we have generated soluble enzymatic domains of NTPDase3/CD39L3 in human embryotic kidney cells with four different glycan modifications. These include mannose5–9 glycans with kifunesine treatment, single GlcNAc-Asn by treatment with EndoH, de-glycosylated form by treatment with PNGaseF, and wild-type glycans. Our functional data indicate that the non-glycosylated NTPDase3/CD39L3 ecto-enzymatic domain retains activity, but that N-glycan attachments, such as the GlcNAc-Asn, substantially upregulate specific NTPDase activity by 2–20 fold. Both the Vmax and the Km on di- or tri-phosphate nucleosides are substantially and differentially altered by the glycan attachments. Structural modeling analysis based on putative structures derived from bacterial-originated CD39 domain proteins suggests that N-glycan modifications at Asn149 next to ACR2 and/or Asn454, N-terminal to ACR5 have critical roles in regulating the catalytic pocket of NTPDase3/CD39L3. Our data provide both new insights into the enzymatic mechanisms of NTPDase family members and further evidence that N-glycans directly modulate functional ectonucleotidase activities.
The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of influenza A virus are responsible for the surface interactions of the virion with the host. Entry of the virus is mediated by functions of the HA: binding to cellular receptors and facilitating fusion of the virion membrane with the endosomal membrane. The HA structure contains receptor binding sites in the globular membrane distal head domains of the trimer, and the fusion machinery resides in the stem region. These sites have specific characteristics associated with subtype and host, and the differences often define species barriers. For example, avian viruses preferentially recognize α2,3-Sialic acid terminating glycans as receptors and mammalian viruses recognize α2,6-Sialic acid. The neuraminidase, or the receptor-destroying protein, cleaves the sialic acid from cellular membrane constituents and viral glycoproteins allowing for egress of nascent virions. A functional balance of activity has been demonstrated between the two glycoproteins, resulting in an optimum level of HA affinity and NA enzymatic cleavage to allow for productive infection. As more is understood about both HA and NA, the relevance for functional balance between HA and NA continues to expand, with potential implications for interspecies transmission, host adaptation, and pathogenicity.
Transmembrane mucins are highly O-glycosylated glycoproteins that coat the apical glycocalyx on mucosal surfaces and represent the first line of cellular defense against infection and injury. Relatively low levels of N-glycans are found on transmembrane mucins, and their structure and function remain poorly characterized. We previously reported that carbohydrate-dependent interactions of transmembrane mucins with galectin-3 contribute to maintenance of the epithelial barrier at the ocular surface. Now, using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we report that transmembrane mucin N-glycans in differentiated human corneal epithelial cells contain primarily complex-type structures with N-acetyllactosamine, a preferred galectin ligand. In N-glycosylation inhibition experiments, we find that treatment with tunicamycin and siRNA-mediated knockdown of the Golgi N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I gene (MGAT1) induce partial loss of both total and cell-surface levels of the largest mucin, MUC16, and a concomitant reduction in glycocalyx barrier function. Moreover, we identified a distinct role for N-glycans in promoting MUC16's binding affinity toward galectin-3 and in causing retention of the lectin on the epithelial cell surface. Taken together, these studies define a role for N-linked oligosaccharides in supporting the stability and function of transmembrane mucins on mucosal surfaces.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from aberrant immune stimulation against a dysbiotic mucosal but relatively preserved luminal microbiota and preferentially affects males in early onset disease. However, factors contributing to sex-specific risk and the pattern of dysbiosis are largely unexplored. Core 1 β3GalT-specific molecular chaperone (Cosmc), which encodes an X-linked chaperone important for glycocalyx formation, was recently identified as an IBD risk factor by genome-wide association study. We deleted Cosmc in mouse intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and found marked reduction of microbiota diversity in progression from the proximal to the distal gut mucosa, but not in the overlying lumen, as seen in IBD. This loss of diversity coincided with local emergence of a proinflammatory pathobiont and distal gut restricted pathology. Mechanistically, we found that Cosmc regulates host genes, bacterial ligands, and nutrient availability to control microbiota biogeography. Loss of one Cosmc allele in males (IEC-Cosmc(-/y)) resulted in a compromised mucus layer, spontaneous microbe-dependent inflammation, and enhanced experimental colitis; however, females with loss of one allele and mosaic deletion of Cosmc in 50% of crypts (IEC-Cosmc(+/-)) were protected from spontaneous inflammation and partially protected from experimental colitis, likely due to lateral migration of normal mucin glycocalyx from WT cells over KO crypts. These studies functionally validate Cosmc as an IBD risk factor and implicate it in regulating the spatial pattern of dysbiosis and sex bias in IBD.
MOTIVATION: The goal of deciphering the human glycome has been hindered by the lack of high-throughput sequencing methods for glycans. Although mass spectrometry (MS) is a key technology in glycan sequencing, MS alone provides limited information about the identification of monosaccharide constituents, their anomericity and their linkages. These features of individual, purified glycans can be partly identified using well-defined glycan-binding proteins, such as lectins and antibodies that recognize specific determinants within glycan structures.
RESULTS: We present a novel computational approach to automate the sequencing of glycans using metadata-assisted glycan sequencing, which combines MS analyses with glycan structural information from glycan microarray technology. Success in this approach was aided by the generation of a 'virtual glycome' to represent all potential glycan structures that might exist within a metaglycomes based on a set of biosynthetic assumptions using known structural information. We exploited this approach to deduce the structures of soluble glycans within the human milk glycome by matching predicted structures based on experimental data against the virtual glycome. This represents the first meta-glycome to be defined using this method and we provide a publically available web-based application to aid in sequencing milk glycans.
AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: http://glycomeseq.emory.edu
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Human milk glycans (HMGs) are prebiotics, pathogen receptor decoys and regulators of host physiology and immune responses. Mechanistically, human lectins (glycan-binding proteins, hGBP) expressed by dendritic cells (DCs) are of major interest, as these cells directly contact HMGs. To explore such interactions, we screened many C-type lectins and sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectins (Siglecs) expressed by DCs for glycan binding on microarrays presenting over 200 HMGs. Unexpectedly, DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) showed robust binding to many HMGs, whereas other C-type lectins failed to bind, and Siglec-5 and Siglec-9 showed weak binding to a few glycans. By contrast, most hGBP bound to multiple glycans on other microarrays lacking HMGs. An α-linked fucose residue was characteristic of HMGs bound by DC-SIGN. Binding of DC-SIGN to the simple HMGs 2'-fucosyl-lactose (2'-FL) and 3-fucosyl-lactose (3-FL) was confirmed by flow cytometry to beads conjugated with 2'-FL or 3-FL, as well as the ability of the free glycans to inhibit DC-SIGN binding. 2'-FL had an IC50 of ∼1 mM for DC-SIGN, which is within the physiological concentration of 2'-FL in human milk. These results demonstrate that DC-SIGN among the many hGBP expressed by DCs binds to α-fucosylated HMGs, and suggest that such interactions may be important in influencing immune responses in the developing infant.
Infection of mammals by the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni induces antibodies to glycan antigens in worms and eggs, but the differential nature of the immune response among infected mammals is poorly understood. To better define these responses, we used a shotgun glycomics approach in which N-glycans from schistosome egg glycoproteins were prepared, derivatized, separated, and used to generate an egg shotgun glycan microarray. This array was interrogated with sera from infected mice, rhesus monkeys, and humans and with glycan-binding proteins and antibodies to gather information about the structures of antigenic glycans, which also were analyzed by mass spectrometry. A major glycan antigen targeted by IgG from different infected species is the FLDNF epitope [Fucα3GalNAcβ4(Fucα3)GlcNAc-R], which is also recognized by the IgG monoclonal antibody F2D2. The FLDNF antigen is expressed by all life stages of the parasite in mammalian hosts, and F2D2 can kill schistosomula in vitro in a complement-dependent manner. Different antisera also recognized other glycan determinants, including core β-xylose and highly fucosylated glycans. Thus, the natural shotgun glycan microarray of schistosome eggs is useful in identifying antigenic glycans and in developing new anti-glycan reagents that may have diagnostic applications and contribute to developing new vaccines against schistosomiasis.
We present the systematic design, fabrication, and characterization of a multiplexed label-free lab-on-a-chip biosensor using silicon nitride (SiN) microring resonators. Sensor design is addressed through a systematic approach that enables optimizing the sensor according to the specific noise characteristics of the setup. We find that an optimal 6 dB undercoupled resonator consumes 40% less power in our platform to achieve the same limit-of-detection as the conventional designs using critically coupled resonators that have the maximum light-matter interaction. We lay out an optimization framework that enables the generalization of our method for any type of optical resonator and noise characteristics. The device is fabricated using a CMOS-compatible process, and an efficient swabbing lift-off technique is introduced for the deposition of the protective oxide layer. This technique increases the lift-off quality and yield compared to common lift-off methods based on agitation. The complete sensor system, including microfluidic flow cell and surface functionalization with glycan receptors, is tested for the multiplexed detection of Aleuria Aurantia Lectin (AAL) and Sambucus Nigra Lectin (SNA). Further analysis shows that the sensor limit of detection is 2 × 10(-6) RIU for bulk refractive index, 1 pg/mm(2) for surface-adsorbed mass, and ∼ 10 pM for the glycan/lectins studied here.
Glycans have essential roles in biology and the etiology of many diseases. A major hurdle in studying glycans through functional glycomics is the lack of methods to release glycans from diverse types of biological samples. Here we describe an oxidative strategy using household bleach to release all types of free reducing N-glycans and O-glycan-acids from glycoproteins, and glycan nitriles from glycosphingolipids. Released glycans are directly useful in glycomic analyses and can be derivatized fluorescently for functional glycomics. This chemical method overcomes the limitations in glycan generation and promotes archiving and characterization of human and animal glycomes and their functions.