A common missense variant in SLC39A8 is convincingly associated with schizophrenia and several additional phenotypes. Homozygous loss-of-function mutations in SLC39A8 result in undetectable serum manganese (Mn) and a Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation (CDG) due to the exquisite sensitivity of glycosyltransferases to Mn concentration. Here, we identified several Mn-related changes in human carriers of the common SLC39A8 missense allele. Analysis of structural brain MRI scans showed a dose-dependent change in the ratio of T2w to T1w signal in several regions. Comprehensive trace element analysis confirmed a specific reduction of only serum Mn, and plasma protein N-glycome profiling revealed reduced complexity and branching. N-glycome profiling from two individuals with SLC39A8-CDG showed similar but more severe alterations in branching that improved with Mn supplementation, suggesting that the common variant exists on a spectrum of hypofunction with potential for reversibility. Characterizing the functional impact of this variant will enhance our understanding of schizophrenia pathogenesis and identify novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers.
A hallmark of Gram-negative bacteria is an asymmetric outer membrane containing lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) in the extracellular leaflet. LPS molecules consist of lipid A, which is connected to the inner and outer core oligosaccharides. This LPS core structure is extended in the periplasm by the O antigen, a variable and serotype-defining polysaccharide. In the ABC transporter-dependent LPS biosynthesis pathway, the WzmWzt transporter secretes the complete O antigen across the inner membrane for ligation to the LPS core. In some O antigen transporters, the nucleotide-binding domain of Wzt is fused C-terminally to a carbohydrate-binding domain (CBD) that interacts with the O antigen chain. Here, we present the crystal structure of the Aquifex aeolicus CBD that reveals a conserved flat and a variable twisted jelly-roll surface. The CBD dimer is stabilized by mutual β strand exchange. Microbial glycan array binding studies with the isolated CBD provide insights into its interaction with complex carbohydrates.
Dysregulated healing of injured mucosa is a hallmark of many pathological conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease. Mucosal injury and chronic intestinal inflammation are also associated with alterations in epithelial glycosylation. Previous studies have revealed that inflammation-induced glycan sialyl Lewis A on epithelial CD44v6 acts as a ligand for transmigrating PMNs. Here we report that robust sialylated Lewis glycan expression was induced in colonic mucosa from individuals with ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease as well as in the colonic epithelium of mice with colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Targeting of sialylated epithelial Lewis glycans with mAb GM35 reduced disease activity and improved mucosal integrity during DSS-induced colitis in mice. Wound healing studies revealed increased epithelial proliferation and migration responses as well as improved mucosal repair after ligation of epithelial sialyl Lewis glycans. Finally, we showed that GM35-mediated increases in epithelial proliferation and migration were mediated through activation of kinases that signal downstream of CD44v6 (Src, FAK, Akt). These findings suggest that sialylated Lewis glycans on CD44v6 represent epithelial targets for improved recovery of intestinal barrier function and restitution of mucosal homeostasis after inflammation or injury.
Glycans are one of the major biological polymers found in the mammalian body. They play a vital role in a number of physiologic and pathologic conditions. Glycan microarrays allow a plethora of information to be obtained on protein-glycan binding interactions. In this review, we describe the intricacies of the generation of glycan microarray data and the experimental methods for studying binding. We highlight the importance of this knowledge before moving on to the data analysis. We then highlight a number of tools for the analysis of glycan microarray data such as data repositories, data visualization and manual analysis tools, automated analysis tools and structural informatics tools.
Humoral immunity to pathogens and other environmental challenges is paramount to maintain normal health, and individuals lacking or unable to make antibodies are at risk. Recent studies indicate that many human protective antibodies are against carbohydrate antigens; however, little is known about repertoires and individual variation of anti-carbohydrate antibodies in healthy individuals. Here we analyzed anti-carbohydrate antibody repertoires (ACARs) of 105 healthy individual adult donors, aged 20-60 from different ethnic backgrounds to explore variations in antibodies, as defined by binding to glycan microarrays and by affinity purification. Using microarrays that contained > 1,000 glycans, including antigens from animal cells and microbes, we profiled the IgG and IgM ACARs from all donors. Each donor expressed many ACAs, but had a relatively unique ACAR, which included unanticipated antibodies to carbohydrate antigens not well studied, such as chitin oligosaccharides, Forssman-related antigens, globo-type antigens, and bacterial glycans. We also saw some expected antibodies to ABO(H) blood group and α-Gal-type antigens, although these also varied among individuals. Analysis suggests differences in ACARs are associated with ethnicity and age. Thus, each individual ACAR is relatively unique, suggesting that individualized information could be useful in precision medicine for predicting and monitoring immune health and resistance to disease.
Growth of the cholera bacterium in a biofilm community contributes to both its pathogenicity and survival in aquatic environmental niches. The major components of biofilms include olyaccharide (VPS) and the extracellular matrix proteins RbmA, RbmC, and Bap1. To further elucidate the previously observed overlapping roles of Bap1 and RbmC in biofilm architecture and surface attachment, here we investigated the structural and functional properties of Bap1. Soluble expression of Bap1 was possible only after the removal of an internal 57-amino-acid-long hydrophobic insertion sequence. The crystal structure of Bap1 at 1.9 Å resolution revealed a two-domain assembly made up of an eight-bladed β-propeller interrupted by a β-prism domain. The structure also revealed metal-binding sites within canonical calcium blade motifs, which appear to have structural rather than functional roles. Contrary to results previously observed with RbmC, the Bap1 β-prism domain did not exhibit affinity for complex -glycans, suggesting an altered role of this domain in biofilm-surface adhesion. Native polyacrylamide gel shift analysis did suggest that Bap1 exhibits lectin activity with a preference for anionic or linear polysaccharides. Our results suggest a model for biofilms in which Bap1 and RbmC play dominant but differing adhesive roles in biofilms, allowing bacterial attachment to diverse environmental or host surfaces.
The specific targeting of differentially expressed glycans in malignant cells has emerged as an attractive anticancer strategy. One such target is the oncodevelopmental antigen polysialic acid (polySia), a polymer of α2,8-linked sialic acid residues that is largely absent during postnatal development but is re-expressed during progression of several malignant human tumors, including small-cell and non-small cell lung carcinomas, glioma, neuroblastoma, and pancreatic carcinoma. In these cancers, expression of polySia correlates with tumor progression and poor prognosis and appears to modulate cancer cell adhesion, invasiveness, and metastasis. To evaluate the potential of PolySia as a target for anticancer therapy, we developed a chimeric human polySia-specific mAb that retained low nanomolar (nmol/L) target affinity and exhibited exquisite selectivity for polySia structures. The engineered chimeric mAb recognized several polySia-positive tumor cell lines and induced rapid endocytosis of polySia antigens. To determine whether this internalization could be exploited for delivery of conjugated cytotoxic drugs, we generated an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) by covalently linking the chimeric human mAb to the tubulin-binding maytansinoid DM1 using a bioorthogonal chemical reaction scheme. The resulting polySia-directed ADC demonstrated potent target-dependent cytotoxicity against polySia-positive tumor cells . Collectively, these results establish polySia as a valid cell-surface, cancer-specific target for glycan-directed ADC and contribute to a growing body of evidence that the tumor glycocalyx is a promising target for synthetic immunotherapies. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings describe a glycan-specific antibody-drug conjugate that establishes polySia as a viable cell surface target within the tumor glycocalyx.
Immune system failure in primary antibody deficiencies (PADs) has been linked to recurrent infections, autoimmunity, and cancer, yet clinical judgment is often based on the reactivity to a restricted panel of antigens. Previously, we demonstrated that the human repertoire of carbohydrate-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) exhibits modular organization related to glycan epitope structure. The current study compares the glycan-specific IgG repertoires between different PAD entities. Distinct repertoire profiles with extensive qualitative glycan-recognition defects were observed, which are characterized by the common loss of Galα and GalNAc reactivity and disease-specific recognition of microbial antigens, self-antigens, and tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens. Antibody repertoire analysis may provide a useful tool to elucidate the degree and the clinical implications of immune system failure in individual patients.
T lymphocytes, a key arm of adaptive immunity, are known to dynamically regulate O-glycosylation during T cell maturation and when responding to stimuli; however, the direct role of O-glycans in T cell maturation remains largely unknown. Using a conditional knockout of the gene (C1GalT1C1 or Cosmc) encoding the specific chaperone Cosmc, we generated mice whose T cells lack extended O-glycans (T cell conditional Cosmc knock out or TCKO mice) and homogeneously express the truncated Tn antigen. Loss of Cosmc is highly deleterious to T cell persistence, with near-complete elimination of Cosmc-null T cells from spleen and lymph nodes. Total T cell counts are 20% of wild type (WT), among which only 5% express the truncated glycans, with the remaining 95% consisting of escapers from Cre-mediated recombination. TCKO thymocytes were able to complete thymic maturation but failed to populate the secondary lymphoid organs both natively and upon adoptive transfer to WT recipients. Our results demonstrate that extended O-glycosylation is required for the establishment and maintenance of the peripheral T cell population.
Access to efficient enzymes that can convert A and B type red blood cells to 'universal' donor O would greatly increase the supply of blood for transfusions. Here we report the functional metagenomic screening of the human gut microbiome for enzymes that can remove the cognate A and B type sugar antigens. Among the genes encoded in our library of 19,500 expressed fosmids bearing gut bacterial DNA, we identify an enzyme pair from the obligate anaerobe Flavonifractor plautii that work in concert to efficiently convert the A antigen to the H antigen of O type blood, via a galactosamine intermediate. The X-ray structure of the N-acetylgalactosamine deacetylase reveals the active site and mechanism of the founding member of an esterase family. The galactosaminidase expands activities within the CAZy family GH36. Their ability to completely convert A to O of the same rhesus type at very low enzyme concentrations in whole blood will simplify their incorporation into blood transfusion practice, broadening blood supply.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global public health issue due to its association with severe developmental disorders in infants and neurological disorders in adults. ZIKV uses glycosylation of its envelope (E) protein to interact with host cell receptors to facilitate entry; these interactions could also be important for designing therapeutics and vaccines. Due to a lack of proper information about Asn-linked (N-glycans) on ZIKV E, we analyzed ZIKV E of various strains derived from different cells. We found ZIKV E proteins being extensively modified with oligomannose, hybrid and complex N-glycans of a highly heterogeneous nature. Host cell surface glycans correlated strongly with the glycomic features of ZIKV E. Mechanistically, we observed that ZIKV N-glycans might play a role in viral pathogenesis, as mannose-specific C-type lectins DC-SIGN and L-SIGN mediate host cell entry of ZIKV. Our findings represent the first detailed mapping of N-glycans on ZIKV E of various strains and their functional significance.
Sialic acids are a family of related sugars that play essential roles in many biological events intimately linked to cellular recognition in both health and disease. Sialidases are therefore orchestrators of cellular biology and important therapeutic targets for viral infection. Here, we sought to define if uncharacterized sialidases would provide distinct paradigms in sialic acid biochemistry. We show that a recently discovered sialidase family, whose first member EnvSia156 was isolated from hot spring metagenomes, defines an unusual structural fold and active centre constellation, not previously described in sialidases. Consistent with an inverting mechanism, EnvSia156 reveals a His/Asp active center in which the His acts as a Brønsted acid and Asp as a Brønsted base in a single-displacement mechanism. A predominantly hydrophobic aglycone site facilitates accommodation of a variety of 2-linked sialosides; a versatility that offers the potential for glycan hydrolysis across a range of biological and technological platforms.
Mumps virus (MuV) is an important aerosol-transmitted human pathogen causing epidemic parotitis, meningitis, encephalitis, and deafness. MuV preferentially uses a trisaccharide containing α2,3-linked sialic acid as a receptor. However, given the MuV tropism toward glandular tissues and the central nervous system, an additional glycan motif(s) may also serve as a receptor. Here, we performed a large-scale glycan array screen with MuV hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (MuV-HN) attachment proteins by using 600 types of glycans from The Consortium for Functional Glycomics Protein-Glycan Interaction Core in an effort to find new glycan receptor motif(s). According to the results of the glycan array, we successfully determined the crystal structures of MuV-HN proteins bound to newly identified glycan motifs, sialyl Lewis (SLe) and the oligosaccharide portion of the GM2 ganglioside (GM2-glycan). Interestingly, the complex structures showed that SLe and GM2-glycan share the same configuration with the reported trisaccharide motif, 3'-sialyllactose (3'-SL), at the binding site of MuV-HN, while SLe and GM2-glycan have several unique interactions compared with those of 3'-SL. Thus, MuV-HN protein can allow an additional spatial modification in GM2-glycan and SLe at the second and third carbohydrates from the nonreducing terminus of the core trisaccharide structure, respectively. Importantly, MuV entry was efficiently inhibited in the presence of 3'-SL, SLe, or GM2-glycan derivatives, which indicates that these motifs can serve as MuV receptors. The α2,3-sialylated oligosaccharides, such as SLe and 3'-sialyllactosamine, are broadly expressed in various tissues, and GM2 exists mainly in neural tissues and the adrenal gland. The distribution of these glycan motifs in human tissues/organs may have bearing on MuV tropism. Mumps virus (MuV) infection is characterized by parotid gland swelling and can cause pancreatitis, orchitis, meningitis, and encephalitis. MuV-related hearing loss is also a serious complication because it is usually irreversible. MuV outbreaks have been reported in many countries, even in high-vaccine-coverage areas. MuV has tropism toward glandular tissues and the central nervous system. To understand the unique MuV tropism, revealing the mechanism of receptor recognition by MuV is very important. Here, using a large-scale glycan array and X-ray crystallography, we show that MuV recognizes sialyl Lewis and GM2 ganglioside as receptors, in addition to a previously reported MuV receptor, a trisaccharide containing an α2,3-linked sialic acid. The flexible recognition of these glycan receptors by MuV may explain the unique tropism and pathogenesis of MuV. Structures will also provide a template for the development of effective entry inhibitors targeting the receptor-binding site of MuV.
A slimy, hydrated mucus gel lines all wet epithelia in the human body, including the eyes, lungs, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. Mucus forms the first line of defence while housing trillions of microorganisms that constitute the microbiota. Rarely do these microorganisms cause infections in healthy mucus, suggesting that mechanisms exist in the mucus layer that regulate virulence. Using the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a three-dimensional (3D) laboratory model of native mucus, we determined that exposure to mucus triggers downregulation of virulence genes that are involved in quorum sensing, siderophore biosynthesis and toxin secretion, and rapidly disintegrates biofilms-a hallmark of mucosal infections. This phenotypic switch is triggered by mucins, which are polymers that are densely grafted with O-linked glycans that form the 3D scaffold inside mucus. Here, we show that isolated mucins act at various scales, suppressing distinct virulence pathways, promoting a planktonic lifestyle, reducing cytotoxicity to human epithelia in vitro and attenuating infection in a porcine burn model. Other viscous polymer solutions lack the same effect, indicating that the regulatory function of mucin does not result from its polymeric structure alone. We identify that interactions with P. aeruginosa are mediated by mucin-associated glycans (mucin glycans). By isolating glycans from the mucin backbone, we assessed the collective activity of hundreds of complex structures in solution. Similar to their grafted counterparts, free mucin glycans potently regulate bacterial phenotypes even at relatively low concentrations. This regulatory function is likely dependent on glycan complexity, as monosaccharides do not attenuate virulence. Thus, mucin glycans are potent host signals that 'tame' microorganisms, rendering them less harmful to the host.
To aid in generating complex and diverse natural glycan libraries for functional glycomics, more efficient and reliable methods are needed to derivatize glycans. Here we present our development of a reversible, cleavable bifunctional linker 3-(methoxyamino)propylamine (MAPA). As the fluorenylmethyloxycarbonate (Fmoc) version (F-MAPA), it is highly fluorescent and efficiently derivatizes free reducing glycans to generate closed-ring derivatives that preserve the structural integrity of glycans. A library of glycans were derivatized and used to generate a covalent glycan microarray using -hydroxysuccinimide derivatization. The array was successfully interrogated by a variety of lectins and antibodies, demonstrating the importance of closed-ring chemistry. The glycan derivatization was also performed at large scale using milligram quantities of glycans and excess F-MAPA, and the reaction system was successfully recycled up to five times, without an apparent decrease in conjugation efficiency. The MAPA-glycan is also easy to link to protein to generate neoglycoproteins with equivalent glycan densities. Importantly, the MAPA linker can be reversibly cleaved to regenerate free reducing glycans for detailed structural analysis (catch-and-release), often critical for functional studies of undefined glycans from natural sources. The high conjugation efficiency, bright fluorescence, and reversible cleavage of the linker enable access to natural glycans for functional glycomics.
H3N2 strains of influenza A virus emerged in humans in 1968 and have continued to circulate, evolving in response to human immune pressure. During this process of "antigenic drift," viruses have progressively lost the ability to agglutinate erythrocytes of various species and to replicate efficiently under the established conditions for amplifying clinical isolates and generating vaccine candidates. We have determined the glycome profiles of chicken and guinea pig erythrocytes to gain insights into reduced agglutination properties displayed by drifted strains and show that both chicken and guinea pig erythrocytes contain complex sialylated N-glycans but that they differ with respect to the extent of branching, core fucosylation, and the abundance of poly-N-acetyllactosamine (PL) [-3Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-] structures. We also examined binding of the H3N2 viruses using three different glycan microarrays: the synthetic Consortium for Functional Glycomics array; the defined N-glycan array designed to reveal contributions to binding based on sialic acid linkage type, branched structures, and core modifications; and the human lung shotgun glycan microarray. The results demonstrate that H3N2 viruses have progressively lost their capacity to bind nearly all canonical sialylated receptors other than a selection of biantennary structures and PL structures with or without sialic acid. Significantly, all viruses displayed robust binding to nonsialylated high-mannose phosphorylated glycans, even as the recognition of sialylated structures is decreased through antigenic drift. Influenza subtype H3N2 viruses have circulated in humans for over 50 years, continuing to cause annual epidemics. Such viruses have undergone antigenic drift in response to immune pressure, reducing the protective effects of preexisting immunity to previously circulating H3N2 strains. The changes in hemagglutinin (HA) affiliated with drift have implications for the receptor binding properties of these viruses, affecting virus replication in the culture systems commonly used to generate and amplify vaccine strains. Therefore, the antigenic properties of the vaccines may not directly reflect those of the circulating strains from which they were derived, compromising vaccine efficacy. In order to reproducibly provide effective vaccines, it will be critical to understand the interrelationships between binding, antigenicity, and replication properties in different growth substrates.
This focused chapter serves as a short survey of glycan microarrays that are available with sialylated glycans, including both defined and shotgun arrays, their generation, and their utility in studying differential binding interactions to sialylated compounds, highlighting N-glycolyl (Gc) modified sialylated compounds. A brief discussion of binding interactions by lectins, antibodies, and viruses, and their relevance that have been observed with sialylated glycan microarrays is presented, as well as a discussion of cross-comparisons of array platforms and efforts to centralize and standardize the glycan microarray data.
We have explored the fundamental biological processes by which complex carbohydrates expressed on cellular glycoproteins and glycolipids and in secretions of cells promote cell adhesion and signaling. We have also explored processes by which animal pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites adhere to glycans of animal cells and initiate disease. Glycans important in cell signaling and adhesion, such as key O-glycans, are essential for proper animal development and cellular differentiation, but they are also involved in many pathogenic processes, including inflammation, tumorigenesis and metastasis, and microbial and parasitic pathogenesis. The overall hypothesis guiding these studies is that glycoconjugates are recognized and bound by a growing class of proteins called glycan-binding proteins (GBPs or lectins) expressed by all types of cells. There is an incredible variety and diversity of GBPs in animal cells involved in binding N- and O-glycans, glycosphingolipids, and proteoglycan/glycosaminoglycans. We have specifically studied such molecular determinants recognized by selectins, galectins, and many other C-type lectins, involved in leukocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation in human tissues, lymphocyte trafficking, adhesion of human viruses to human cells, structure and immunogenicity of glycoproteins on the surfaces of human parasites. We have also explored the molecular basis of glycoconjugate biosynthesis by exploring the enzymes and molecular chaperones required for correct protein glycosylation. From these studies opportunities for translational biology have arisen, involving production of function-blocking antibodies, anti-glycan specific antibodies, and synthetic glycoconjugates, e.g. glycosulfopeptides, that specifically are recognized by GBPs. This invited short review is based in part on my presentation for the IGO Award 2019 given by the International Glycoconjugate Organization in Milan.
Influenza A viruses can bind sialic acid-terminating glycan receptors, and species specificity is often correlated with sialic acid linkage with avian strains recognizing α2,3-linked sialylated glycans and mammalian strains preferring α2,6-linked sialylated glycans. These paradigms derive primarily from studies involving erythrocyte agglutination, binding to synthetic receptor analogs or binding to undefined surface markers on cells or tissues. Here, we present the first examination of the N-glycome of the human lung for identifying natural receptors for a range of avian and mammalian influenza viruses. We found that the human lung contains many α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialylated glycan determinants bound by virus, but all viruses also bound to phosphorylated, nonsialylated glycans.