The T-synthase (core 1 β3-galactosyltransferase) and its molecular chaperone Cosmc regulate the biosynthesis of mucin type O-glycans on glycoproteins, and evidence suggests that both T-synthase and Cosmc are transcriptionally suppressed in several human diseases, although the transcriptional regulation of these two genes is not understood. Here, we characterized the promoters essential for human Cosmc and T-synthase transcription. The upstream regions of the genes lack a conventional TATA box but contain CpG islands, cCpG-I and cCpG-II for Cosmc and tCpG for T-synthase. Using luciferase reporter assays, site-directed mutagenesis, ChIP assays, and mithramycin A treatment, we identified the core promoters within cCpG-II and tCpG, which contain two binding sites for Krüppel-like transcription factors, including SP1/SP3, respectively. Methylome analysis of Tn4 B cells, which harbor a silenced Cosmc, confirmed the hypermethylation of the Cosmc core promoter but not for T-synthase. These results demonstrate that Cosmc and T-synthase are transcriptionally regulated at a basal level by the specificity protein/Krüppel-like transcription factor family of members, which explains their ubiquitous and coordinated expression, and also indicate that they are differentially epigenetically regulated beyond X chromosome imprinting. These results are important in understanding the regulation of these genes that have roles in human diseases, such as IgA nephropathy and cancer.
The glycans displayed on mammalian cells can differ markedly from those on microbes. Such differences could, in principle, be 'read' by carbohydrate-binding proteins, or lectins. We used glycan microarrays to show that human intelectin-1 (hIntL-1) does not bind known human glycan epitopes but does interact with multiple glycan epitopes found exclusively on microbes: β-linked D-galactofuranose (β-Galf), D-phosphoglycerol-modified glycans, heptoses, D-glycero-D-talo-oct-2-ulosonic acid (KO) and 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (KDO). The 1.6-Å-resolution crystal structure of hIntL-1 complexed with β-Galf revealed that hIntL-1 uses a bound calcium ion to coordinate terminal exocyclic 1,2-diols. N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), a sialic acid widespread in human glycans, has an exocyclic 1,2-diol but does not bind hIntL-1, probably owing to unfavorable steric and electronic effects. hIntL-1 marks only Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes that display surface glycans with terminal 1,2-diol groups. This ligand selectivity suggests that hIntL-1 functions in microbial surveillance.
Schistosomiasis is a common debilitating human parasitic disease in (sub)tropical areas, however, schistosome infections can also protect against a variety of inflammatory diseases. This has raised broad interest in the mechanisms by which Schistosoma modulate the immune system into an anti-inflammatory and regulatory state. Human dendritic cells (DCs) show many phenotypic changes upon contact with Schistosoma mansoni soluble egg antigens (SEA). We here show that oxidation of SEA glycans, but not heat-denaturation, abrogates the capacity of SEA to suppress both LPS-induced cytokine secretion and DC proliferation, indicating an important role of SEA glycans in these processes. Remarkably, interaction of SEA glycans with DCs results in a strongly increased expression of Suppressor Of Cytokine Signalling1 (SOCS1) and SH2-containing protein tyrosine Phosphatase-1 (SHP1), important negative regulators of TLR4 signalling. In addition, SEA induces the secretion of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), and the surface expression of the costimulatory molecules Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) and OX40 ligand (OX40L), which are known phenotypic markers for the capacity of DCs to polarize naïve T cells into Th2/Treg cell subsets. Inhibition of mannose receptor (MR)-mediated internalization of SEA into DCs by blocking with allyl α-D-mannoside or anti-MR antibodies, significantly reduced SOCS1 and SHP1 expression. In conclusion, we demonstrate that SEA glycans are essential for induction of enhanced SOCS1 and SHP1 levels in DCs via the MR. Our data provide novel mechanistic evidence for the potential of S. mansoni SEA glycans to modulate human DCs, which may contribute to the capacity of SEA to down-regulate inflammatory responses.
Mucin-type O-glycans are a class of glycans initiated with N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) α-linked primarily to Ser/Thr residues within glycoproteins and often extended or branched by sugars or saccharides. Most secretory and membrane-bound proteins receive this modification, which is important in regulating many biological processes. Alterations in mucin-type O-glycans have been described across tumor types and include expression of relatively small-sized, truncated O-glycans and altered terminal structures, both of which are associated with patient prognosis. New discoveries in the identity and expression of tumor-associated O-glycans are providing new avenues for tumor detection and treatment. This chapter describes mucin-type O-glycan biosynthesis, altered mucin-type O-glycans in primary tumors, including mechanisms for structural changes and contributions to the tumor phenotype, and clinical approaches to detect and target altered O-glycans for cancer treatment and management.
This work describes the synthesis of the 1,2,3-triazole amino acid-derived-3-O-galactosides 1-6 and the 1,2,3-triazole di-lactose-derived glycoconjugate 7 as potential galectin-3 inhibitors. The target compounds were synthesized by Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction ('click chemistry') between the azido-derived amino acids N3-ThrOBn, N3-PheOBn, N3-N-Boc-TrpOBn, N3-N-Boc-LysOBn, N3-O-tBu-AspOBn and N3-l-TyrOH, and the corresponding alkyne-based sugar 3-O-propynyl-GalOMe, as well as by click chemistry reaction between the azido-lactose and 2-propynyl lactose. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assays showed that all synthetic glycoconjugates 1-7 bound to galectin-3 with high affinity, but the highest binders were the amino acids-derived glycoconjugates 2 (KD 7.96μM) and 4 (KD 4.56μM), and the divalent lactoside 7 (KD1 0.15μM/KD2 19μM). Molecular modeling results were in agreement with SPR assays, since more stable interactions with galectin-3 were identified for glycoconjugates 2, 4 and 7. Regarding compounds 2 and 4, they established specific cation-π (Arg144) and ionic (Asp148) interactions, whereas glycoconjugate 7 was capable to bridge two independent galectin-3 CRDs, creating a non-covalent cross-link between two monomers and, thus, reaching a submicromolar affinity towards galectin-3.
Inflammatory immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis are major health problems. Currently, the intestinal whipworm Trichuris suis is being explored in clinical trials to reduce inflammation in these diseases; however, the mechanisms by which the parasite affects the host immune system are not known. Here we determined the effects of T. suis soluble products (SPs) on Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4)-stimulated human dendritic cells (DCs) using Illumina bead chip gene arrays. Pathway analysis of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated DCs with or without T. suis treatment showed that co-stimulation with T. suis SPs resulted in a downregulation of both the myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88-dependent and the TIR-domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β-dependent signalling pathways triggered by TLR4. These data were verified using quantitative real-time PCR of several key genes within these pathways and/or defining their protein levels. In addition, T. suis SPs induce Rab7b, a negative regulator of TLR4 signalling that interferes with its trafficking, which coincided with a reduced surface expression of TLR4. These data indicate that the mechanism by which T. suis SPs reduce inflammatory responses is through suppression of both TLR4 signalling and surface expression on DCs.
Strain-dependent variation of glycan recognition during initial cell attachment of viruses is a critical determinant of host specificity, tissue-tropism and zoonosis. Rotaviruses (RVs), which cause life-threatening gastroenteritis in infants and children, display significant genotype-dependent variations in glycan recognition resulting from sequence alterations in the VP8* domain of the spike protein VP4. The structural basis of this genotype-dependent glycan specificity, particularly in human RVs, remains poorly understood. Here, from crystallographic studies, we show how genotypic variations configure a novel binding site in the VP8* of a neonate-specific bovine-human reassortant to uniquely recognize either type I or type II precursor glycans, and to restrict type II glycan binding in the bovine counterpart. Such a distinct glycan-binding site that allows differential recognition of the precursor glycans, which are developmentally regulated in the neonate gut and abundant in bovine and human milk provides a basis for age-restricted tropism and zoonotic transmission of G10P rotaviruses.
INTRODUCTION: The inverse correlation between prevalence of auto-immune disorders like the chronic neuro-inflammatory disease multiple sclerosis (MS) and the occurrence of helminth (worm) infections, suggests that the helminth-trained immune system is protective against auto-immunity. As monocytes are regarded as crucial players in the pathogenesis of auto-immune diseases, we explored the hypothesis that these innate effector cells are prime targets for helminths to exert their immunomodulatory effects.
RESULTS: Here we show that soluble products of the porcine nematode Trichuris suis (TsSP) are potent in changing the phenotype and function of human monocytes by skewing classical monocytes into anti-inflammatory patrolling cells, which exhibit reduced trans-endothelial migration capacity in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier. Mechanistically, we identified the mannose receptor as the TsSP-interacting monocyte receptor and we revealed that specific downstream signalling occurs via protein kinase C (PKC), and in particular PKCδ.
CONCLUSION: This study provides comprehensive mechanistic insight into helminth-induced immunomodulation, which can be therapeutically exploited to combat various auto-immune disorders.
It has been known for many years that influenza viruses bind by their hemagglutinin surface glycoprotein to sialic acid (N-acetylneuraminic acid) on the surface of the host cell, and that avian viruses most commonly bind to sialic acid linked α2-3 to galactose while most human viruses bind to sialic acid in the α2-6 configuration. Over the past few years there has been a large increase in data on this binding due to technological advances in glycan binding assays, reverse genetic systems for influenza and in X-ray crystallography. The results show some surprising changes in binding specificity that do not appear to affect the ability of the virus to infect host cells.
Functional glycomics has been impeded by the lack of inexpensive enzymatic and mild chemical methods to acquire natural glycans in significant amounts. In this study, we have developed a new strategy we term "threshing and trimming" (TaT) to quickly obtain N-glycans from glycoproteins and animal tissues. TaT employs low-cost Pronase to degrade peptides and N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) to effect oxidative decarboxylation under very mild reaction conditions to generate homogeneous aglycon moieties as nitriles or aldehydes. These aglycons can be readily conjugated with fluorescent tags for profiling and functional study. TaT is an affordable alternative to expensive specialty enzymes and strong chemical treatment and unpleasant reagents, and should further drive the functional glycomics of N-glycans.
Glycomics is a broad and emerging scientific discipline focused on defining the structures and functional roles of glycans in biological systems. The staggering complexity of the glycome, minimally defined as the repertoire of glycans expressed in a cell or organism, has resulted in many challenges that must be overcome; these are being addressed by new advances in mass spectrometry as well as by the expansion of genetic and cell biology studies. Conversely, identifying the specific glycan recognition determinants of glycan-binding proteins by employing the new technology of glycan microarrays is providing insights into how glycans function in recognition and signaling within an organism and with microbes and pathogens. The promises of a more complete knowledge of glycomes are immense in that glycan modifications of intracellular and extracellular proteins have critical functions in almost all biological pathways.
Glycan microarrays have become indispensable tools for studying protein-glycan interactions. Along with chemo-enzymatic synthesis, glycans isolated from natural sources have played important roles in array development and will continue to be a major source of glycans. N-glycans and O-glycans from glycoproteins, and glycans from glycosphingolipids (GSLs) can be released from corresponding glycoconjugates with relatively mature methods, although isolation of large numbers and quantities of glycans is still very challenging. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are less represented on current glycan microarrays. Glycan microarray development has been greatly facilitated by bifunctional fluorescent linkers, which can be applied in a 'Shotgun Glycomics' approach to incorporate isolated natural glycans. Glycan presentation on microarrays may affect glycan binding by GBPs, often through multivalent recognition by the GBP.
Inflammation and infection downregulate the activity and expression of cytochrome P450s (P450s) and other drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) involved in hepatic drug clearance. Schistosoma mansoni infection was reported to cause a downregulation of hepatic P450-dependent activities in mouse liver, but little is known about the specific enzymes affected or whether phase II DMEs are also affected. Here we describe the effect of murine schistosomiasis on the expression of hepatic P450s, NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (Cpr), phase II drug metabolizing enzymes, and nuclear receptors at 30 and 45 days postinfection (dpi). Although the hepatic expression of some of these genes was altered at 30 dpi, we observed substantial changes in the expression of the majority of P450 mRNAs and proteins measured, Cpr protein, as well as many of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and sulfotransferases at 45 dpi. S. mansoni infection also altered nuclear receptor expression, inducing mRNA levels at 30 dpi and depressing levels at 45 dpi. S. mansoni evoked a T helper 2 (Th2) inflammatory response at 45 dpi, as indicated by the induction of hepatic Th2 cytokine mRNAs [interleukins 4, 5, and 13], whereas the hepatic proinflammatory response was relatively weak. Thus, chronic schistosomiasis markedly and selectively alters the expression of multiple DMEs, which may be associated with Th2 cytokine release. This would represent a novel mechanism of DME regulation in disease states. These findings have important implications for drug testing in infected mice, whereas the relevance to humans with schistosomiasis needs to be determined.
The recognition of sialic acids by two strains of minute virus of mice (MVM), MVMp (prototype) and MVMi (immunosuppressive), is an essential requirement for successful infection. To understand the potential for recognition of different modifications of sialic acid by MVM, three types of capsids, virus-like particles, wild type empty (no DNA) capsids, and DNA packaged virions, were screened on a sialylated glycan microarray (SGM). Both viruses demonstrated a preference for binding to 9-O-methylated sialic acid derivatives, while MVMp showed additional binding to 9-O-acetylated and 9-O-lactoylated sialic acid derivatives, indicating recognition differences. The glycans recognized contained a type-2 Galβ1-4GlcNAc motif (Neu5Acα2-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc or 3'SIA-LN) and were biantennary complex-type N-glycans with the exception of one. To correlate the recognition of the 3'SIA-LN glycan motif as well as the biantennary structures to their natural expression in cell lines permissive for MVMp, MVMi, or both strains, the N- and O-glycans, and polar glycolipids present in three cell lines used for in vitro studies, A9 fibroblasts, EL4 T lymphocytes, and the SV40 transformed NB324K cells, were analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. The cells showed an abundance of the sialylated glycan motifs recognized by the viruses in the SGM and previous glycan microarrays supporting their role in cellular recognition by MVM. Significantly, the NB324K showed fucosylation at the non-reducing end of their biantennary glycans, suggesting that recognition of these cells is possibly mediated by the Lewis X motif as in 3'SIA-Le(X) identified in a previous glycan microarray screen.
Host immunity represents a complex array of factors that evolved to provide protection against potential pathogens. While many factors regulate host immunity, glycan binding proteins (GBPs) appear to play a fundamental role in orchestrating this process. In addition, GBPs also reside at the key interface between host and pathogen. While early studies sought to understand GBP glycan binding specificity, limitations in the availability of test glycans made it difficult to elucidate a detailed understanding of glycan recognition. Recent developments in glycan microarray technology revolutionized analysis of GBP glycan interactions with significant implications in understanding the role of GBPs in host immunity. In this review, we explore different glycan microarray formats with a focus on the impact of these arrays on understanding the binding specificity and function of GBPs involved in immunity.
The Tn antigen is a tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen that is not normally expressed in peripheral tissues or blood cells. Expression of this antigen, which is found in a majority of human carcinomas of all types, arises from a blockage in the normal O-glycosylation pathway in which glycans are extended from the common precursor GalNAcα1-O-Ser/Thr (Tn antigen). This precursor is generated in the Golgi apparatus on newly synthesized glycoproteins by a family of polypeptide α-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (ppGalNAcTs) and then extended to the common core 1 O-glycan Galβ1-3GalNAcα1-O-Ser/Thr (T antigen) by a single enzyme termed the T-synthase (core 1 β3-galactosyltransferase or C1GalT). Formation of the active form of the T-synthase requires a unique molecular chaperone termed Cosmc, encoded by Cosmc on the X-chromosome (Xq24 in humans, Xc3 in mice). Cosmc resides in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and prevents misfolding, aggregation, and proteasome-dependent degradation of newly synthesized T-synthase. Loss of expression of active T-synthase or Cosmc can lead to expression of the Tn antigen, along with its sialylated version Sialyl Tn antigen as observed in several cancers. Both genetic and epigenetic pathways, in addition to potential metabolic regulation, can result in abnormal expression of the Tn antigen. Engineered expression of the Tn antigen by disruption of either C1GalT (T-syn) or Cosmc in mice is associated with a tremendous range of pathologies and engineered expression of the Tn antigen in mouse embryos leads to embryonic death. Studies indicate that many membrane glycoproteins expressing the Tn antigen and/or truncated O-glycans may be dysfunctional, due to degradation and/or misfolding. Thus, expression of normal O-glycans is associated with health and homeostasis whereas truncation of O-glycans, e.g. the Tn and/or Sialyl Tn antigens is associated with cancer and other pathologies.
Carbohydrates participate in almost every aspect of biology from protein sorting to modulating cell differentiation and cell-cell interactions. To date, the majority of data gathered on glycan expression has been obtained via analysis with either anti-glycan antibodies or lectins. A detailed understanding of the specificities of these reagents is critical to the analysis of carbohydrates in biological systems. Glycan microarrays are increasingly used to determine the binding specificity of glycan-binding proteins (GBPs). In this study, six different glycan microarray platforms with different modes of glycan presentation were compared using five well-known lectins; concanavalin A, Helix pomatia agglutinin, Maackia amurensis lectin I, Sambucus nigra agglutinin and wheat germ agglutinin. A new method (universal threshold) was developed to facilitate systematic comparisons across distinct array platforms. The strongest binders of each lectin were identified using the universal threshold across all platforms while identification of weaker binders was influenced by platform-specific factors including presentation of determinants, array composition and self-reported thresholding methods. This work compiles a rich dataset for comparative analysis of glycan array platforms and has important implications for the implementation of microarrays in the characterization of GBPs.
The ATBF1/ZFHX3 gene at 16q22 is the second most frequently mutated gene in human prostate cancer and has reduced expression or mislocalization in several types of human tumors. Nonetheless, the hypothesis that ATBF1 has a tumor suppressor function in prostate cancer has not been tested. In this study, we examined the role of ATBF1 in prostatic carcinogenesis by specifically deleting Atbf1 in mouse prostatic epithelial cells. We also examined the effect of Atbf1 deletion on gene expression and signaling pathways in mouse prostates. Histopathologic analyses showed that Atbf1 deficiency caused hyperplasia and mouse prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (mPIN) primarily in the dorsal prostate but also in other lobes. Hemizygous deletion of Atbf1 also increased the development of hyperplasia and mPIN, indicating a haploinsufficiency of Atbf1. The mPIN lesions expressed luminal cell markers and harbored molecular changes similar to those in human PIN and prostate cancer, including weaker expression of basal cell marker cytokeratin 5 (Ck5), cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, and the smooth muscle layer marker Sma; elevated expression of the oncoproteins phospho-Erk1/2, phospho-Akt and Muc1; and aberrant protein glycosylation. Gene expression profiling revealed a large number of genes that were dysregulated by Atbf1 deletion, particularly those that encode for secretory and cell membrane proteins. The four signaling networks that were most affected by Atbf1 deletion included those centered on Erk1/2 and IGF1, Akt and FSH, NF-κB and progesterone and β-estradiol. These findings provide in vivo evidence that ATBF1 is a tumor suppressor in the prostate, suggest that loss of Atbf1 contributes to tumorigenesis by dysregulating membrane and secretory proteins and multiple signaling pathways, and provide a new animal model for prostate cancer.
Schistosomiasis is a debilitating parasitic disease of humans, endemic in tropical areas, for which no vaccine is available. Evidence points to glycan antigens as being important in immune responses to infection. Here we describe our studies on the comparative humoral immune responses to defined schistosome-type glycan epitopes in Schistosoma mansoni-infected humans, rhesus monkeys and mice. Rhesus anti-glycan responses over the course of infection were screened on a defined glycan microarray comprising semi-synthetic glycopeptides terminating with schistosome-associated or control mammalian-type glycan epitopes, as well as a defined glycan microarray of mammalian-type glycans representing over 400 glycan structures. Infected rhesus monkeys generated a high immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody response to the core xylose/core α3 fucose epitope of N-glycans, which peaked at 8-11 weeks post infection, coinciding with maximal ability to kill schistosomula in vitro. By contrast, infected humans generated low antibody levels to this epitope. At 18 months following praziquantel therapy to eliminate the parasite, antibody levels were negligible. Mice chronically infected with S. mansoni generated high levels of anti-fucosylated LacdiNAc (GalNAcβ1, 4(Fucα1, 3)GlcNAc) IgM antibodies, but lacked a robust response to the core xylose/core α3 fucose N-glycan antigens compared with other species studied, and their sera demonstrated an intermediate level of schistosomula killing in vitro. These differential responses to parasite glycan antigens may be related to the ability of rhesus monkeys to self-cure in contrast to the chronic infection seen in humans and mice. Our results validate defined glycan microarrays as a useful technology to evaluate diagnostic and vaccine antigens for schistosomiasis and perhaps other infections.