BACKGROUND: Modifications of proteins by O-glycosylation determine many of the properties and functions of proteins. We wish to understand the mechanisms of O-glycosylation and develop inhibitors that could affect glycoprotein functions and alter cellular behavior.
METHODS: We expressed recombinant soluble human Gal- and GlcNAc-transferases that synthesize the O-glycan cores 1 to 4 and are critical for the overall structures of O-glycans. We determined the properties and substrate specificities of these enzymes using synthetic acceptor substrate analogs. Compounds that were inactive as substrates were tested as inhibitors.
RESULTS: Enzymes significantly differed in their recognition of the sugar moieties and aglycone groups of substrates. Core 1 synthase was active with glycopeptide substrates but GlcNAc-transferases preferred substrates with hydrophobic aglycone groups. Chemical modifications of the acceptors shed light on enzyme-substrate interactions. Core 1 synthase was weakly inhibited by its substrate analog benzyl 2-butanamido-2-deoxy-α-d-galactoside while two of the three GlcNAc-transferases were selectively and potently inhibited by bis-imidazolium salts which are not substrate analogs.
CONCLUSIONS: This work delineates the distinct specificities and properties of the enzymes that synthesize the common O-glycan core structures 1 to 4. New inhibitors were found that could selectively inhibit the synthesis of cores 1, 2 and 3 but not core 4.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: These studies help our understanding of the mechanisms of action of enzymes critical for O-glycosylation. The results may be useful for the re-engineering of O-glycosylation to determine the roles of O-glycans and the enzymes critical for O-glycosylation, and for biotechnology with potential therapeutic applications.
Glycan structures were defined historically using multiple methods to determine composition, sequence, linkage, and anomericity of component monosaccharides. Such approaches have been replaced by more sensitive MS methods to profile or predict glycan structures, but these methods are limited in their ability to completely define glycan structures. Glycan-binding proteins, including lectins and antibodies, have been found to have exquisite binding specificities that can provide information about glycan structures. Here, we show glycan-binding proteins can be used along with MS to help define glycan linkages and other determinants in unknown glycans printed as shotgun glycan microarrays.
The parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni synthesizes immunogenic glycans containing the human Lewis x antigen (Le(x); Galactose-β1-4(Fucα1-3)N-acetylglucosamine-β-R, also called CD15), but the biological role(s) of this antigen in the parasites and in humans is poorly understood. To develop IgG-based monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for Le(x), we harvested splenocytes from S. mansoni-infected Swiss Webster mice at Week 10 postinfection, when peak IgG responses to glycan antigens occur, and generated a panel of hybridomas secreting anti-glycan IgG that recognize periodate-sensitive epitopes in soluble egg antigens of the parasites, and also recognizes a neoglycoprotein containing a pentasaccharide with the Le(x) sequence. One murine mAb, an IgG3 designated F8A1.1, bound to glycoproteins and glycolipids from schistosome adults and human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells that express Le(x) antigens, as assessed by a wide variety of approaches including immunofluorescence staining, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and western blotting, as well as overlay assays of glycolipids after thin-layer chromatography. In contrast, F8A1.1 bound weakly to cercariae, 3-h schistosomula and human Jurkat cells. We also directly compared the glycan specificity of F8A1.1 with commercially available anti-CD15 IgG1 (clone W6D3) using a defined glycan microarray. The results demonstrated that F8A1.1 recognized glycans expressing Le(x) epitopes in a terminal nonreducing position, whereas anti-CD15 bound to glycans with multiple repeats of Le(x) epitopes, but not to glycans with a single, terminal Le(x) epitope. Our results show that F8A1.1 recognizes terminal Le(x) epitopes and can be used for identification, immunolocalization, immunoprecipitation and purification of Le(x)-containing glycoconjugates from schistosomes and mammalian cells.
Mucin-type O-glycans on glycoproteins in animal cells play important roles in many biological processes. Core 1 β3galactosyltransferase (Core 1 β3GalT, T-synthase) is a key enzyme in the O-glycan biosynthetic pathway. Emerging evidence has shown the importance of O-glycans and the absolute requirement of T-synthase in this pathway. The assessment of the T-synthase activity has historically been conducted using a radioactive method. Here we describe a fluorescence-based assay procedure for T-synthase activity. T-synthase utilizes the acceptor substrate 4-methylumbelliferone-α-GalNAc (GalNAcα-(4-MU)) and the donor substrate UDP-Gal to synthesize the disaccharide product Galβ1,3GalNAcα-(4-MU) structure. This product is specifically hydrolyzed by endo-α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (O-glycosidase) releasing free 4-MU. Free 4-MU is highly fluorescent at pH 9.6-10 and can be easily measured by a fluorescent detector (Ex: 355 nm; Em: 460 nm). This fluorescence-based T-synthase assay is simple, sensitive, reproducible, not affected by enzyme source, and adaptable for high-throughput assays.
It is generally accepted that human influenza viruses bind glycans containing sialic acid linked α2-6 to the next sugar, that avian influenza viruses bind glycans containing the α2-3 linkage, and that mutations that change the binding specificity might change the host tropism. We noted that human H3N2 viruses showed dramatic differences in their binding specificity, and so we embarked on a study of representative human H3N2 influenza viruses, isolated from 1968 to 2012, that had been isolated and minimally passaged only in mammalian cells, never in eggs. The 45 viruses were grown in MDCK cells, purified, fluorescently labeled and screened on the Consortium for Functional Glycomics Glycan Array. Viruses isolated in the same season have similar binding specificity profiles but the profiles show marked year-to-year variation. None of the 610 glycans on the array (166 sialylated glycans) bound to all viruses; the closest was Neu5Acα2-6(Galβ1-4GlcNAc)3 in either a linear or biantennary form, that bound 42 of the 45 viruses. The earliest human H3N2 viruses preferentially bound short, branched sialylated glycans while recent viruses bind better to long polylactosamine chains terminating in sialic acid. Viruses isolated in 1996, 2006, 2010 and 2012 bind glycans with α2-3 linked sialic acid; for 2006, 2010 and 2012 viruses this binding was inhibited by oseltamivir, indicating binding of α2-3 sialylated glycans by neuraminidase. More significantly, oseltamivir inhibited virus entry of 2010 and 2012 viruses into MDCK cells. All of these viruses were representative of epidemic strains that spread around the world, so all could infect and transmit between humans with high efficiency. We conclude that the year-to-year variation in receptor binding specificity is a consequence of amino acid sequence changes driven by antigenic drift, and that viruses with quite different binding specificity and avidity are equally fit to infect and transmit in the human population.
Glycoproteins expressed by Cryptosporidium parvum are immunogenic in infected individuals but the nature of the epitopes recognised in C. parvum glycoproteins is poorly understood. Since a known immunodominant antigen of Cryptosporidium, the 17kDa glycoprotein, has previously been shown to bind to lectins that recognise the Tn antigen (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr-R), a large number of glycopeptides with different Tn valency and presentation were prepared. In addition, glycopeptides were synthesised based on a 40kDa cryptosporidial antigen, a polymorphic surface glycoprotein with varying numbers of serine residues, to determine the reactivity with sera from C. parvum-infected humans. These glycopeptides and non-glycosylated peptides were used to generate a glycopeptide microarray to allow screening of sera from C. parvum-infected individuals for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies. IgG but not IgM in sera from C. parvum-infected individuals bound to multivalent Tn antigen epitopes presented on glycopeptides, suggesting that glycoproteins from C. parvum that contain the Tn antigen induce immune responses upon infection. In addition, molecular differences in glycosylated peptides (e.g. substituting Ser for Thr) as well as the site of glycosylation had a pronounced effect on reactivity. Lastly, pooled sera from individuals infected with either Toxoplasma or Plasmodium were also tested against the modified Cryptosporidium peptides and some sera showed specific binding to glycopeptide epitopes. These studies reveal that specific anti-glycopeptide antibodies that recognise the Tn antigen may be useful diagnostically and in defining the roles of parasite glycoconjugates in infections.
BACKGROUND: There are 45 known genetic diseases that impair the lysosomal degradation of macromolecules. The loss of a single lysosomal hydrolase leads to the accumulation of its undegraded substrates in tissues and increases of related glycoconjugates in urine, some of which can be detected by screening of free oligosaccharides (FOS) in urine. Traditional 1-dimensional TLC for urine oligosaccharide analysis has limited analytical specificity and sensitivity. We developed fast and robust urinary FOS and glycoaminoacid analyses by MALDI-time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry for the diagnosis of oligosaccharidoses and other lysosomal storage diseases.
METHODS: The FOS in urine equivalent to 0.09 mg creatinine were purified through sequential passage over a Sep-Pak C18 column and a carbograph column and were then permethylated. MALDI-TOF/TOF was used to analyze the permethylated FOS. We studied urine samples from individuals in 7 different age groups ranging from 0-1 months to ≥ 17 years as well as urine from known patients with different lysosomal storage diseases.
RESULTS: We identified diagnostic urinary FOS patterns for α-mannosidosis, galactosialidosis, mucolipidosis type II/III, sialidosis, α-fucosidosis, aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU), Pompe disease, Gaucher disease, and GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis. Interestingly, the increase in urinary FOS characteristic of lysosomal storage diseases relative to normal FOS appeared to correlate with the disease severity.
CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of urinary FOS by MALDI-TOF/TOF is a powerful tool for first-tier screening of oligosaccharidoses and lysosomal storage diseases.
Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) show remarkable phenotypic changes upon direct contact with soluble products (SPs) of Trichuris suis, a pig whipworm that is experimentally used in therapies to ameliorate inflammation in patients with Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. These changes may contribute to the observed induction of a T helper 2 (Th2) response and the suppression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-induced Th1 and Th17 responses by human DCs primed with T. suis SPs. Here it is demonstrated that glycans of T. suis SPs contribute significantly to the suppression of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression in DCs of a broad variety of cytokines and chemokines, including important pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12, lymphotoxin α (LTA), C-C Motif Ligand (CCL)2, C-X-C Motif Ligands (CXCL)9 and CXCL10. In addition, the data show that human DCs strongly bind T. suis SP-glycans via the C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) mannose receptor (MR) and DC-specific ICAM-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN). The interaction of DCs with T. suis glycans likely involves mannose-type glycans, rather than fucosylated glycans, which differs from DC binding to soluble egg antigens of the human worm parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. In addition, macrophage galactose-type lectin (MGL) recognises T. suis SPs, which may contribute to the interaction with immature DCs or other MGL-expressing immune cells such as macrophages. The interaction of T. suis glycans with CLRs of human DCs may be essential for the ability of T. suis to suppress a pro-inflammatory phenotype of human DCs. The finding that the T. suis-induced modulation of human DC function is glycan-mediated is novel and indicates that helminth glycans contribute to the dampening of inflammation in a wide range of human inflammatory diseases.
Helminths are multicellular parasitic worms that comprise a major class of human pathogens and cause an immense amount of suffering worldwide. Helminths possess an abundance of complex and unique glycoconjugates that interact with both the innate and adaptive arms of immunity in definitive and intermediate hosts. These glycoconjugates represent a major untapped reservoir of immunomodulatory compounds, which have the potential to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and antigenic glycans, which could be exploited as vaccines and diagnostics. This review will survey current knowledge of the interactions between helminth glycans and host immunity and highlight the gaps in our understanding which are relevant to advancing therapeutics, vaccine development, and diagnostics.
Glycans that are fluorescently tagged by reductive amination have been useful for functional glycomic studies. However, the existing tags can introduce unwanted properties to the glycans and complicate structural and functional studies. Here, we describe a facile method using N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) to remove the tags and efficiently regenerate free reducing glycans. The regenerated free reducing glycans can be easily analyzed by routine mass spectrometry or retagged with different tags for further studies. This new method can be used to efficiently remove a variety of fluorescent tags installed by reductive amination, including 2-aminobenzoic acid and 2-aminopyridine. NBS treatment essentially transforms the commonly used 2-aminobenzoic linkage to a cleavable linkage. It can be used to cleave printed glycans from microarrays and cleave neoglycopeptides containing a 2-aminobenzoic linker.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs) are caused by defects in genes that participate in biosynthetic glycosylation pathways. To date, 19 different genetic defects in N-glycosylation, 17 in O-glycosylation, and 21 in multiple glycosylation are known. Current diagnostic testing of CDGs largely relies on indirect analysis of glycosylation of serum transferrin. Such analysis alone is insufficient to diagnose many of the known glycosylation disorders. To improve the diagnosis of these groups of CDGs, we have developed serum or plasma N- and O-glycan profiling using a combination of MALDI-TOF/MS and LC-MS/MS technologies. Using this approach, we analyzed samples from nine patients with different known multiple glycosylation disorders, including three with COG deficiencies, one with TMEM165-CDG, two with PGM1-CDG, and three with SLC35A2-CDG, and one patient with combined type I and type II of unknown molecular etiology. Measurement of the relative quantities of various N- and O-glycan species clearly differentiates patients and controls. Our study demonstrates that structural analysis and quantitation of combined N- and O-glycan profiles are reliable diagnostic tools for CDGs.
In many different human disorders, the cellular glycome is altered. An interesting but poorly understood alteration occurs in the mucin-type O-glycome, in which there is aberrant expression of the truncated O-glycans Tn (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr) and its sialylated version sialyl-Tn (STn) (Neu5Acα2,6GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr). Both Tn and STn are tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens and tumor biomarkers, since they are not expressed normally and appear early in tumorigenesis. Moreover, their expression is strongly associated with poor prognosis and tumor metastasis. The Tn and STn antigens are also expressed in other human diseases and disorders, such as Tn syndrome and IgA nephropathy. The major pathological mechanism for expression of the Tn and STn antigens is compromised T-synthase activity, resulting from alteration of the X-linked gene that encodes for Cosmc, a molecular chaperone specifically required for the correct folding of T-synthase to form active enzyme. This review will summarize our current understanding of the Tn and STn antigens in terms of their biochemistry and role in pathology.
Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) migration across the intestinal epithelium closely parallels disease symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. PMN transepithelial migration (TEM) is a multistep process that terminates with PMN detachment from the apical epithelium into the lumen. Using a unique mAb (GM35), we have previously demonstrated that engagement of the CD44 variant containing exon 6 (CD44v6) blocks both PMN detachment and cleavage of CD44v6. In this article, we report that PMN binding to CD44v6 is mediated by protein-specific O-glycosylation with sialyl Lewis A (sLe(a)). Analyses of glycosyltransferase expression identified fucosyltransferase 3 (Fut3) as the key enzyme driving sLe(a) biosynthesis in human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). Fut3 transfection of sLe(a)-deficient IECs resulted in robust expression of sLe(a). However, this glycan was not expressed on CD44v6 in these transfected IECs; therefore, engagement of sLe(a) had no effect on PMN TEM across these cells. Analyses of sLe(a) in human colonic mucosa revealed minimal expression in noninflamed areas, with striking upregulation under colitic conditions that correlated with increased expression of CD44v6. Importantly, intraluminal administration of mAb GM35 blocked PMN TEM and attenuated associated increases in intestinal permeability in a murine intestinal model of inflammation. These findings identify a unique role for protein-specific O-glycosylation in regulating PMN-epithelial interactions at the luminal surface of the intestine.
As with many other viruses, the initial cell attachment of rotaviruses, which are the major causative agent of infantile gastroenteritis, is mediated by interactions with specific cellular glycans. The distally located VP8* domain of the rotavirus spike protein VP4 (ref. 5) mediates such interactions. The existing paradigm is that 'sialidase-sensitive' animal rotavirus strains bind to glycans with terminal sialic acid (Sia), whereas 'sialidase-insensitive' human rotavirus strains bind to glycans with internal Sia such as GM1 (ref. 3). Although the involvement of Sia in the animal strains is firmly supported by crystallographic studies, it is not yet known how VP8* of human rotaviruses interacts with Sia and whether their cell attachment necessarily involves sialoglycans. Here we show that VP8* of a human rotavirus strain specifically recognizes A-type histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) using a glycan array screen comprised of 511 glycans, and that virus infectivity in HT-29 cells is abrogated by anti-A-type antibodies as well as significantly enhanced in Chinese hamster ovary cells genetically modified to express the A-type HBGA, providing a novel paradigm for initial cell attachment of human rotavirus. HBGAs are genetically determined glycoconjugates present in mucosal secretions, epithelia and on red blood cells, and are recognized as susceptibility and cell attachment factors for gastric pathogens like Helicobacter pylori and noroviruses. Our crystallographic studies show that the A-type HBGA binds to the human rotavirus VP8* at the same location as the Sia in the VP8* of animal rotavirus, and suggest how subtle changes within the same structural framework allow for such receptor switching. These results raise the possibility that host susceptibility to specific human rotavirus strains and pathogenesis are influenced by genetically controlled expression of different HBGAs among the world's population.
Glycan microarrays are presentations of multiple glycans or glycoconjugates printed on a single slide for screening with glycan-binding proteins (GBPs), which include lectins, antibodies, bacteria, and viruses. Glycans derivatized with functional groups can be immobilized onto appropriately activated glass slides to generate glycan microarrays where each glycan is printed at similar concentrations. Here we describe a method for fluorescently and functionally derivatizing free reducing glycans, printing microarrays, and interrogating the microarrays with GBPs.
The 300-kDa cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR) plays an essential role in the biogenesis of lysosomes by delivering newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes from the trans Golgi network to the endosomal system. The CI-MPR is expressed in most eukaryotes, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans being notable exceptions. Although the repertoire of glycans recognized by the bovine receptor has been studied extensively, little is known concerning the ligand-binding properties of the CI-MPR from non-mammalian species. To assess the evolutionary conservation of the CI-MPR, surface plasmon resonance analyses using lysosomal enzymes with defined N-glycans were carried out to probe the glycan-binding specificity of the Danio rerio CI-MPR. The results demonstrate that the D. rerio CI-MPR harbors three glycan-binding sites that, like the bovine CI-MPR, map to domains 3, 5 and 9 of its 15-domain-containing extracytoplasmic region. Analyses on a phosphorylated glycan microarray further demonstrated the unique binding properties of each of the three sites and showed that, similar to the bovine CI-MPR, only domain 5 of the D. rerio CI-MPR is capable of recognizing Man-P-GlcNAc-containing glycans.
Glycan microarrays prepared by immobilization of amino-functionalized glycans on NHS-activated glass slides have been successfully used to study protein-glycan interactions. Fluorescently tagged glycans with an amino functional group can be prepared from natural glycans released from glycoproteins. These tagged glycans can be enzymatically modified with various glycosyltransferases, phosphotransferases, sulfotransferases, etc., to quickly expand the size and diversity of the tagged glycan libraries (TGLs). The TGLs, presented in the format of microarrays, provide a convenient platform for identifying the glycan ligands of glycan-binding proteins (GBPs). The chapter provides the background to prepare a defined glycan microarray and uses as an example glycans generated as phosphodiesters and phosphomonoesters of high-mannose type N-glycans. The method describes the preparation of high-mannose type glycan-AEAB conjugates (GAEABs), the purification of their phosphodiesters, and the subsequent mild acid hydrolysis to obtain corresponding phosphomonoesters. These GAEABs are covalently printed as a phosphorylated glycan microarray and used for analysis of the glycan ligand specificities of P-type lectins, such as the mannose-6-phosphate receptors (Man-6-P receptors or MPRs).
Glycan microarrays are surfaces that contain immobilized oligosaccharides or glycoconjugates and have proven useful in probing the interactions between glycan-binding proteins (GBPs) and individual glycans. Such glycan microarrays have been especially important in studying virus-glycan interactions, as most viruses express one or more GBPs important for pathogenesis. For studying interactions of influenza viruses with glycans, we describe protocols for fluorescent labeling of virus, addition of virus to a glycan microarray, analysis of a glycan microarray slide experiment, and interpretation of data.
The interaction of the endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone Cosmc with its specific client T-synthase (Core 1 β1-3-galactosyltransferase) is required for folding of the enzyme and eventual movement of the T-synthase to the Golgi, but the mechanism of interaction is unclear. Here we show that the lumenal domain of recombinant Cosmc directly interacts specifically in either free form or covalently bound to solid supports with denatured T-synthase but not with the active dimeric form of the enzyme. This leads to formation of a relatively stable complex of Cosmc and denatured T-synthase accompanied by formation of reactivated enzyme in an ATP-independent fashion that is not regulated by redox, calcium, pH, or intermolecular disulfide bond formation. The partly refolded and active T-synthase remains tightly bound noncovalently to Cosmc. Dissociation of T-synthase from the complex is promoted by further interactions of the complex with free forms of either native or non-native T-synthase. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel mechanism in which Cosmc cycles to bind non-native T-synthase, leading to enzyme activity and release in a client-driven process.
Assessing interactions of a glycan-binding protein (GBP) or lectin with glycans on a microarray generates large datasets, making it difficult to identify a glycan structural motif or determinant associated with the highest apparent binding strength of the GBP. We have developed a computational method, termed GlycanMotifMiner, that uses the relative binding of a GBP with glycans within a glycan microarray to automatically reveal the glycan structural motifs recognized by a GBP. We implemented the software with a web-based graphical interface for users to explore and visualize the discovered motifs. The utility of GlycanMotifMiner was determined using five plant lectins, SNA, HPA, PNA, Con A, and UEA-I. Data from the analyses of the lectins at different protein concentrations were processed to rank the glycans based on their relative binding strengths. The motifs, defined as glycan substructures that exist in a large number of the bound glycans and few non-bound glycans, were then discovered by our algorithm and displayed in a web-based graphical user interface ( http://glycanmotifminer.emory.edu ). The information is used in defining the glycan-binding specificity of GBPs. The results were compared to the known glycan specificities of these lectins generated by manual methods. A more complex analysis was also carried out using glycan microarray data obtained for a recombinant form of human galectin-8. Results for all of these lectins show that GlycanMotifMiner identified the major motifs known in the literature along with some unexpected novel binding motifs.