Preparation and characterization of EGCase I, applicable to the comprehensive analysis of GSLs, using a rhodococcal expression system.
ABSTRACT: Endoglycoceramidase (EGCase) is a glycosidase capable of hydrolyzing the ? -glycosidic linkage between the oligosaccharides and ceramides of glycosphingolipids (GSLs). Three molecular species of EGCase differing in specificity were found in the culture fluid of Rhodococcus equi (formerly Rhodococcus sp. M-750) and designated EGCase I, II, and III. This study describes the molecular cloning of EGCase I and characterization of the recombinant enzyme, which was highly expressed in a rhodococcal expression system using Rhodococcus erythropolis. Kinetic analysis revealed the turnover number (k(cat)) (k(cat)) of the recombinant EGCase I to be 22- and 1,200-fold higher than that of EGCase II toward GM1a and Gb3Cer, respectively, although the K(m) of both enzymes was almost the same for these substrates. Comparison of the three-dimensional structure of EGCase I (model) and EGCase II (crystal) indicated that a flexible loop hangs over the catalytic cleft of EGCase II but not EGCase I. Deletion of the loop from EGCase II increased the k(cat) of the mutant enzyme, suggesting that the loop is a critical factor affecting the turnover of substrates and products in the catalytic region. Recombinant EGCase I exhibited broad specificity and good reaction efficiency compared with EGCase II, making EGCase I well-suited to a comprehensive analysis of GSLs.
Project description:Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are crucially important components of the cellular membrane, where they comprise microdomains with many critical biological functions. Despite this fact, qualitative and quantitative techniques for the analysis of GSLs still lag behind the needs of researchers. In this study, a reliable procedure for the elucidation of cellular GSL-glycomes was established based on (a) enzymatic glycan cleavage by endoglycosylceramidases derived from Rhodococcus sp. in combination with (b) glycoblotting-assisted sample preparation. The mixture of endoglycosylceramidase I and II was employed to maximize the release of glycan moieties from the major classes of GSLs (i.e. ganglio-, (neo)lacto- and globo-series GSLs). The glycoblotting technique enabled the quantitative detection of GSL-glycans using as few as 2 × 10(5) cells. Thirty-seven different kinds of cellular GSL glycans were successfully observed in 11 kinds of cells, including Chinese hamster ovary cells and their lectin-resistant mutants as well as murine and human embryonic carcinoma cells. Furthermore, in-depth structural clarification in terms of discrimination of isomers was achieved by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analysis and/or linkage-specific glycosidase digestion. These novel analytical techniques were shown to be capable of delineating cell-specific GSL-glycomes. Thus, they are anticipated to have a broad range of applications for the characterization, description, and comparison of various cellular/tissue samples in the fields of drug discovery and regenerative medicine.
Project description:Vascular damage caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli is largely mediated by Stxs, which in particular, injure microvascular endothelial cells in the kidneys and brain. The majority of Stxs preferentially bind to the glycosphingolipid (GSL) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer) and, to a lesser extent, to globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer). As clustering of receptor GSLs in lipid rafts is a functional requirement for Stxs, we analyzed the distribution of Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer to membrane microdomains of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) and macrovascular EA.hy 926 endothelial cells by means of anti-Gb3Cer and anti-Gb4Cer antibodies. TLC immunostaining coupled with infrared matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (IR-MALDI) mass spectrometry revealed structural details of various lipoforms of Stx receptors and demonstrated their major distribution in detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) compared with nonDRM fractions of HBMECs and EA.hy 926 cells. A significant preferential partition of different receptor lipoforms carrying C24:0/C24:1 or C16:0 fatty acid and sphingosine to DRMs was not detected in either cell type. Methyl-?-cyclodextrin (M?CD)-mediated cholesterol depletion resulted in only partial destruction of lipid rafts, accompanied by minor loss of GSLs in HBMECs. In contrast, almost entire disintegration of lipid rafts accompanied by roughly complete loss of GSLs was detected in EA.hy 926 cells after removal of cholesterol, indicating more stable microdomains in HBMECs. Our findings provide first evidence for differently stable microdomains in human endothelial cells from different vascular beds and should serve as the basis for further exploring the functional role of lipid raft-associated Stx receptors in different cell types.
Project description:Shiga toxins (Stxs) are produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), which cause human infections with an often fatal outcome. Vero cell lines, derived from African green monkey kidney, represent the gold standard for determining the cytotoxic effects of Stxs. Despite their global use, knowledge about the exact structures of the Stx receptor glycosphingolipids (GSLs) and their assembly in lipid rafts is poor. Here we present a comprehensive structural analysis of Stx receptor GSLs and their distribution to detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), which were prepared from Vero-B4 cells and used as lipid raft equivalents. We identified globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer) as the GSL receptors for Stx1a, Stx2a, and Stx2e subtypes using TLC overlay detection combined with MS. The uncommon Stx receptor, globopentaosylceramide (Gb5Cer, Gal?3GalNAc?3Gal?4Gal?4Glc?1Cer), which was specifically recognized (in addition to Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer) by Stx2e, was fully structurally characterized. Lipoforms of Stx receptor GSLs were found to mainly harbor ceramide moieties composed of sphingosine (d18:1) and C24:0/C24:1 or C16:0 fatty acid. Moreover, co-occurrence with lipid raft markers, SM and cholesterol, in DRMs suggested GSL association with membrane microdomains. This study provides the basis for further exploring the functional impact of lipid raft-associated Stx receptors for toxin-mediated injury of Vero-B4 cells.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause the edema disease in pigs by releasing the swine-pathogenic Stx2e subtype as the key virulence factor. Stx2e targets endothelial cells of animal organs including the kidney harboring the Stx receptor glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAc?1-3Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer). Since the involvement of renal epithelial cells in the edema disease is unknown, in this study, we analyzed the porcine kidney epithelial cell lines, LLC-PK1 and PK-15, regarding the presence of Stx-binding GSLs, their sensitivity towards Stx2e, and the inhibitory potential of Gb3- and Gb4-neoglycolipids, carrying phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) as the lipid anchor, towards Stx2e. Immunochemical and mass spectrometric analysis revealed various Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms as the dominant Stx-binding GSLs in both LLC-PK1 and PK-15 cells. A dihexosylceramide with proposed Gal?1-4Gal-sequence (Gal2Cer) was detected in PK-15 cells, whereas LLC-PK1 cells lacked this compound. Both cell lines were susceptible towards Stx2e with LLC-PK1 representing an extremely Stx2e-sensitive cell line. Gb3-PE and Gb4-PE applied as glycovesicles significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of Stx2e towards LLC-PK1 cells, whereas only Gb4-PE exhibited some protection against Stx2e for PK-15 cells. This is the first report identifying Stx2e receptors of porcine kidney epithelial cells and providing first data on their Stx2e-mediated damage suggesting possible involvement in the edema disease.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e of Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary virulence factor in the development of pig edema disease shortly after weaning. Stx2e binds to the globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAc?1-3Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer), the latter acting as the preferential Stx2e receptor. We determined Stx receptor profiles of 25 different tissues of a male and a female weaned piglet using immunochemical solid phase binding assays combined with mass spectrometry. All probed tissues harbored GSL receptors, ranging from high (category I) over moderate (category II) to low content (category III). Examples of Gb4Cer expression in category I tissues are small intestinal ileum, kidney pelvis and whole blood, followed by colon, small intestinal duodenum and jejunum belonging to category II, and kidney cortex, cerebrum and cerebellum as members of category III organs holding true for both genders. Dominant Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms were those with ceramides carrying constant sphingosine (d18:1) and a variable C16:0, C22:0 or C24:1/C24:0 fatty acid. From the mapping data, we created a topographical atlas for Stx2e receptors in piglet tissues and organs, which might be helpful to further investigations on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie infections of Stx2e-producing STEC in pigs and their zoonotic potential for humans.
Project description:Shiga toxins (Stxs) released by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) into the human colon are the causative agents for fatal outcome of EHEC infections. Colon epithelial Caco-2 and HCT-8 cells are widely used for investigating Stx-mediated intestinal cytotoxicity. Only limited data are available regarding precise structures of their Stx receptor glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer), and lipid raft association. In this study we identified Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms of serum-free cultivated Caco-2 and HCT-8 cells, chiefly harboring ceramide moieties composed of sphingosine (d18:1) and C16:0, C22:0 or C24:0/C24:1 fatty acid. The most significant difference between the two cell lines was the prevalence of Gb3Cer with C16 fatty acid in HCT-8 and Gb4Cer with C22-C24 fatty acids in Caco-2 cells. Lipid compositional analysis of detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), which were used as lipid raft-equivalents, indicated slightly higher relative content of Stx receptor Gb3Cer in DRMs of HCT-8 cells when compared to Caco-2 cells. Cytotoxicity assays revealed substantial sensitivity towards Stx2a for both cell lines, evidencing little higher susceptibility of Caco-2 cells versus HCT-8 cells. Collectively, Caco-2 and HCT-8 cells express a plethora of different receptor lipoforms and are susceptible towards Stx2a exhibiting somewhat lower sensitivity when compared to Vero cells.
Project description:Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are lipid molecules linked to carbohydrate units that form the plasma membrane lipid raft, which is clustered with sphingolipids, sterols, and specific proteins, and thereby contributes to membrane physical properties and specific recognition sites for various biological events. These bioactive GSL molecules consequently affect the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of various diseases. Thus, altered expression of GSLs in various diseases may be of importance for disease-related biomarker discovery. However, analysis of GSLs in blood is particularly challenging because GSLs are present at extremely low concentrations in serum/plasma. In this study, we established absolute GSL-glycan analysis of human serum based on endoglycoceramidase digestion and glycoblotting purification. We established two sample preparation protocols, one with and the other without GSL extraction using chloroform/methanol. Similar amounts of GSL-glycans were recovered with the two protocols. Both protocols permitted absolute quantitation of GSL-glycans using as little as 20 ?l of serum. Using 10 healthy human serum samples, up to 42 signals corresponding to GSL-glycan compositions could be quantitatively detected, and the total serum GSL-glycan concentration was calculated to be 12.1-21.4 ?M. We further applied this method to TLC-prefractionated serum samples. These findings will assist the discovery of disease-related biomarkers by serum GSL-glycomics.
Project description:Previous studies demonstrated that certain glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are involved in various cell functions, such as cell growth and motility. Recent studies showed changes in GSL expression during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells; however, little is known about expression profiles of GSLs in cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs are a small subpopulation in cancer and are proposed as cancer-initiating cells, have been shown to be resistant to numerous chemotherapies, and may cause cancer recurrence. Here, we analyzed GSLs expressed in human breast CSCs by applying a CSC model induced through epithelial-mesenchymal transition, using mass spectrometry, TLC immunostaining, and cell staining. We found that (i) Fuc-(n)Lc4Cer and Gb3Cer were drastically reduced in CSCs, whereas GD2, GD3, GM2, and GD1a were greatly increased in CSCs; (ii) among various glycosyltransferases tested, mRNA levels for ST3GAL5, B4GALNT1, ST8SIA1, and ST3GAL2 were increased in CSCs, which could explain the increased expression of GD3, GD2, GM2, and GD1a in CSCs; (iii) the majority of GD2+ cells and GD3+ cells were detected in the CD44(hi)/CD24(lo) cell population; and (iv) knockdown of ST8SIA1 and B4GALNT1 significantly reduced the expression of GD2 and GD3 and caused a phenotype change from CSC to a non-CSC, which was detected by reduced mammosphere formation and cell motility. Our results provide insight into GSL profiles in human breast CSCs, indicate a functional role of GD2 and GD3 in CSCs, and suggest a possible novel approach in targeting human breast CSCs to interfere with cancer recurrence.
Project description:Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), a subgroup of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing E. coli (STEC), is a leading cause of diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. However, urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by this microorganism but not associated with diarrhea have occasionally been reported. We geno- and phenotypically characterized three EHEC isolates obtained from the urine of hospitalized patients suffering from UTIs. These isolates carried typical EHEC virulence markers and belonged to HUS-associated E. coli (HUSEC) clones, but they lacked virulence markers typical of uropathogenic E. coli. One isolate exhibited a localized adherence (LA)-like pattern on T24 urinary bladder epithelial cells. Since the glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer) are well-known receptors for Stx but also for P fimbriae, a major virulence factor of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), the expression of Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer by T24 cells and in murine urinary bladder tissue was examined by thin-layer chromatography and mass spectrometry. We provide data indicating that Stxs released by the EHEC isolates bind to Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer isolated from T24 cells, which were susceptible to Stx. All three EHEC isolates expressed stx genes upon growth in urine. Two strains were able to cause UTI in a murine infection model and could not be outcompeted in urine in vitro by typical uropathogenic E. coli isolates. Our results indicate that despite the lack of ExPEC virulence markers, EHEC variants may exhibit in certain suitable hosts, e.g., in hospital patients, a uropathogenic potential. The contribution of EHEC virulence factors to uropathogenesis remains to be further investigated.
Project description:A fungus-specific glucosylceramide (GlcCer), which contains a unique sphingoid base possessing two double bonds and a methyl substitution, is essential for pathogenicity in fungi. Although the biosynthetic pathway of the GlcCer has been well elucidated, little is known about GlcCer catabolism because a GlcCer-degrading enzyme (glucocerebrosidase) has yet to be identified in fungi. We found a homologue of endoglycoceramidase tentatively designated endoglycoceramidase-related protein 1 (EGCrP1) in several fungal genomic databases. The recombinant EGCrP1 hydrolyzed GlcCer but not other glycosphingolipids, whereas endoglycoceramidase hydrolyzed oligosaccharide-linked glycosphingolipids but not GlcCer. Disruption of egcrp1 in Cryptococcus neoformans, a typical pathogenic fungus causing cryptococcosis, resulted in the accumulation of fungus-specific GlcCer and immature GlcCer that possess sphingoid bases without a methyl substitution concomitant with a dysfunction of polysaccharide capsule formation. These results indicated that EGCrP1 participates in the catabolism of GlcCer and especially functions to eliminate immature GlcCer in vivo that are generated as by-products due to the broad specificity of GlcCer synthase. We conclude that EGCrP1, a glucocerebrosidase identified for the first time in fungi, controls the quality of GlcCer by eliminating immature GlcCer incorrectly generated in C. neoformans, leading to accurate processing of fungus-specific GlcCer.