Exposure of Trypanosoma brucei to an N-acetylglucosamine-binding lectin induces VSG switching and glycosylation defects resulting in reduced infectivity.
ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei variant surface glycoproteins (VSG) are glycosylated by both paucimannose and oligomannose structures which are involved in the formation of a protective barrier against the immune system. Here, we report that the stinging nettle lectin (UDA), with predominant N-acetylglucosamine-binding specificity, interacts with glycosylated VSGs and kills parasites by provoking defects in endocytosis together with impaired cytokinesis. Prolonged exposure to UDA induced parasite resistance based on a diminished capacity to bind the lectin due to an enrichment of biantennary paucimannose and a reduction of triantennary oligomannose structures. Two molecular mechanisms involved in resistance were identified: VSG switching and modifications in N-glycan composition. Glycosylation defects were correlated with the down-regulation of the TbSTT3A and/or TbSTT3B genes (coding for oligosaccharyltransferases A and B, respectively) responsible for glycan specificity. Furthermore, UDA-resistant trypanosomes exhibited severely impaired infectivity indicating that the resistant phenotype entails a substantial fitness cost. The results obtained further support the modification of surface glycan composition resulting from down-regulation of the genes coding for oligosaccharyltransferases as a general resistance mechanism in response to prolonged exposure to carbohydrate-binding agents.
Project description:We recently presented a model for site-specific protein N-glycosylation in Trypanosoma brucei whereby the TbSTT3A oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) first selectively transfers biantennary Man(5)GlcNAc(2) from the lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO) donor Man(5)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol to N-glycosylation sequons in acidic to neutral peptide sequences and TbSTT3B selectively transfers triantennary Man(9)GlcNAc(2) to any remaining sequons. In this paper, we investigate the specificities of the two OSTs for their preferred LLO donors by glycotyping the variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) synthesized by bloodstream-form T. brucei TbALG12 null mutants. The TbALG12 gene encodes the ?1-6-mannosyltransferase that converts Man(7)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol to Man(8)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol. The VSG synthesized by the TbALG12 null mutant in the presence and the absence of ?-mannosidase inhibitors was characterized by electrospray mass spectrometry both intact and as pronase glycopetides. The results show that TbSTT3A is able to transfer Man(7)GlcNAc(2) as well as Man(5)GlcNAc(2) to its preferred acidic glycosylation site at Asn263 and that, in the absence of Man(9)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol, TbSTT3B transfers both Man(7)GlcNAc(2) and Man(5)GlcNAc(2) to the remaining site at Asn428, albeit with low efficiency. These data suggest that the preferences of TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B for their LLO donors are based on the c-branch of the Man(9)GlcNAc(2) oligosaccharide, such that the presence of the c-branch prevents recognition and/or transfer by TbSTT3A, whereas the presence of the c-branch enhances recognition and/or transfer by TbSTT3B.
Project description:Trypanosoma brucei causes African trypanosomiasis and contains three full-length oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) genes; two of which, TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B, are expressed in the bloodstream form of the parasite. These OSTs have different peptide acceptor and lipid-linked oligosaccharide donor specificities, and trypanosomes do not follow many of the canonical rules developed for other eukaryotic N-glycosylation pathways, raising questions as to the basic architecture and detailed function of trypanosome OSTs. Here, we show by blue-native gel electrophoresis and stable isotope labeling in cell culture proteomics that the TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B proteins associate with each other in large complexes that contain no other detectable protein subunits. We probed the peptide acceptor specificities of the OSTs in vivo using a transgenic glycoprotein reporter system and performed glycoproteomics on endogenous parasite glycoproteins using sequential endoglycosidase H and peptide:N-glycosidase-F digestions. This allowed us to assess the relative occupancies of numerous N-glycosylation sites by endoglycosidase H-resistant N-glycans originating from Man5GlcNAc2-PP-dolichol transferred by TbSTT3A, and endoglycosidase H-sensitive N-glycans originating from Man9GlcNAc2-PP-dolichol transferred by TbSTT3B. Using machine learning, we assessed the features that best define TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B substrates in vivo and built an algorithm to predict the types of N-glycan most likely to predominate at all the putative N-glycosylation sites in the parasite proteome. Finally, molecular modeling was used to suggest why TbSTT3A has a distinct preference for sequons containing and/or flanked by acidic amino acid residues. Together, these studies provide insights into how a highly divergent eukaryote has re-wired protein N-glycosylation to provide protein sequence-specific N-glycan modifications. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD007236, PXD007267, and PXD007268.
Project description:Asparagine-linked glycosylation is catalysed by oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase). In Trypanosoma brucei OTase activity is catalysed by single-subunit enzymes encoded by three paralogous genes of which TbSTT3B and TbSTT3C can complement a yeast Deltastt3 mutant. The two enzymes have overlapping but distinct peptide acceptor specificities, with TbSTT3C displaying an enhanced ability to glycosylate sites flanked by acidic residues. TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B, but not TbSTT3C, are transcribed in the bloodstream and procyclic life cycle stages of T. brucei. Selective knockdown and analysis of parasite protein N-glycosylation showed that TbSTT3A selectively transfers biantennary Man(5)GlcNAc(2) to specific glycosylation sites whereas TbSTT3B selectively transfers triantennary Man(9)GlcNAc(2) to others. Analysis of T. brucei glycosylation site occupancy showed that TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B glycosylate sites in acidic to neutral and neutral to basic regions of polypeptide, respectively. This embodiment of distinct specificities in single-subunit OTases may have implications for recombinant glycoprotein engineering. TbSTT3A and TbSTT3B could be knocked down individually, but not collectively, in tissue culture. However, both were independently essential for parasite growth in mice, suggesting that inhibiting protein N-glycosylation could have therapeutic potential against trypanosomiasis.
Project description:N-Linked protein glycosylation is an essential and highly conserved post-translational modification in eukaryotes. The transfer of a glycan from a lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO) donor to the asparagine residue of a nascent polypeptide chain is catalyzed by an oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Trypanosoma brucei encodes three paralogue single-protein OSTs called TbSTT3A, TbSTT3B, and TbSTT3C that can functionally complement the Saccharomyces cerevisiae OST, making it an ideal experimental system to study the fundamental properties of OST activity. We characterized the LLO and polypeptide specificity of all three TbOST isoforms and their chimeric forms in the heterologous expression host S. cerevisiae where we were able to apply yeast genetic tools and newly developed glycoproteomics methods. We demonstrated that TbSTT3A accepted LLO substrates ranging from Man5GlcNAc2 to Man7GlcNAc2 In contrast, TbSTT3B required more complex precursors ranging from Man6GlcNAc2 to Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 structures, and TbSTT3C did not display any LLO preference. Sequence differences between the isoforms cluster in three distinct regions. We have swapped the individual regions between different OST proteins and identified region 2 to influence the specificity toward the LLO and region 1 to influence polypeptide substrate specificity. These results provide a basis to further investigate the molecular mechanisms and contribution of single amino acids in OST interaction with its substrates.
Project description:Trypanosoma brucei protein disulfide isomerase 2 (TbPDI2) is a bloodstream stage-specific lumenal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) glycoprotein. ER localization is dependent on the TbPDI2 C-terminal tetrapeptide (KQDL) and is mediated by TbERD2, an orthologue of the yeast ER retrieval receptor. Consistent with this function, TbERD2 localizes prominently to ER exit sites, and RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown results in specific secretion of a surrogate ER retention reporter, BiPN:KQDL. TbPDI2 is highly N-glycosylated and is reactive with tomato lectin, suggesting the presence of poly-N-acetyllactosamine modifications, which are common on lyso/endosomal proteins in trypanosomes but are inconsistent with ER localization. However, TbPDI2 is reactive with tomato lectin immediately following biosynthesis-far too rapidly for transport to the Golgi compartment, the site of poly-N-acetyllactosamine addition. TbPDI2 also fails to react with Erythrina cristagalli lectin, confirming the absence of terminal N-acetyllactosamine units. We propose that tomato lectin binds the Man?1-4GlcNAc?1-4GlcNAc trisaccharide core of paucimannose glycans on both newly synthesized and mature TbPDI2. Consistent with this proposal, ?-mannosidase treatment renders oligomannose N-glycans on the T. brucei cathepsin L orthologue TbCatL reactive with tomato lectin. These findings resolve contradictory evidence on the location and glycobiology of TbPDI2 and provide a cautionary note on the use of tomato lectin as a poly-N-acetyllactosamine-specific reagent.
Project description:Following a switch from variant surface glycoprotein MITat1.4 to variant surface glycoprotein MITat1.8 expression by Lister strain 427 Trypanosoma brucei brucei parasites, the latter uncharacterized variant surface glycoprotein was analysed. Variant surface glycoprotein MITat1.8 was found to be a disulphide-linked homodimer, containing a complex N-linked glycan at Asn58 and a glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchor attached to Asp419. Mass spectrometric analyses demonstrated that the N-glycan is exclusively Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-2Manalpha1-3(Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-2Manalpha1-6)Manbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc and that the conserved Man(3)GlcN-myo-inositol glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor glycan core is substituted with an average of 4 hexose, most likely galactose, residues. The presence of a complex N-glycan at Asn58 is consistent with the relatively acidic environment of the Asn58 N-glycosylation sequon, that predicts N-glycosylation by T. brucei oligosaccharyltransferase TbSTT3A with a Man(5)GlcNAc(2) structure destined for processing to a paucimannose and/or complex N-glycan (Izquierdo L, Schulz B, Rodrigues JA et al. EMBO J 2009;28:2650-61 ).
Project description:It is widely accepted that the heavily glycosylated glycoprotein gp120 on the surface of HIV-1 shields peptide epitopes from recognition by the immune system and may promote infection in vivo by interaction with dendritic cells and transport to tissue rich in CD4(+) T cells such as lymph nodes. A conserved cluster of oligomannose glycans on gp120 has been identified as the epitope recognized by the broadly HIV-1-neutralizing monoclonal antibody 2G12. Oligomannose glycans are also the ligands for DC-SIGN, a C-type lectin found on the surface of dendritic cells. Multivalency is fundamental for carbohydrate-protein interactions, and mimicking of the high glycan density on the virus surface has become essential for designing carbohydrate-based HIV vaccines and antiviral agents. We report an efficient synthesis of oligomannose dendrons, which display multivalent oligomannoses in high density, and characterize their interaction with 2G12 and DC-SIGN by a glycan microarray binding assay. The solution and the surface binding analysis of 2G12 to a prototype oligomannose dendron clearly demonstrated the efficacy of dendrimeric display. We further showed that these glycodendrons inhibit the binding of gp120 to 2G12 and recombinant dimeric DC-SIGN with IC(50) in the nanomolar range. A second-generation Man(9) dendron was identified as a potential immunogen for HIV vaccine development and as a potential antiviral agent.
Project description:Mutualisms between cnidarian hosts and dinoflagellate endosymbionts are foundational to coral reef ecosystems. These symbioses are often re-established every generation with high specificity, but gaps remain in our understanding of the cellular mechanisms that control symbiont recognition and uptake dynamics. Here, we tested whether differences in glycan profiles among different symbiont species account for the different rates at which they initially colonize aposymbiotic polyps of the model sea anemone Aiptasia (Exaiptasia pallida). First, we used a lectin array to characterize the glycan profiles of colonizing Symbiodinium minutum (ITS2 type B1) and noncolonizing Symbiodinium pilosum (ITS2 type A2), finding subtle differences in the binding of lectins Euonymus europaeus lectin (EEL) and Urtica dioica agglutinin lectin (UDA) that distinguish between high-mannoside and hybrid-type protein linked glycans. Next, we enzymatically cleaved glycans from the surfaces of S. minutum cultures and followed their recovery using flow cytometry, establishing a 48-72 h glycan turnover rate for this species. Finally, we exposed aposymbiotic host polyps to cultured S. minutum cells masked by EEL or UDA lectins for 48 h, then measured cell densities the following day. We found no effect of glycan masking on symbiont density, providing further support to the hypothesis that glycan-lectin interactions are more important for post-phagocytic persistence of specific symbionts than they are for initial uptake. We also identified several methodological and biological factors that may limit the utility of studying glycan masking in the Aiptasia system.
Project description:In holometabolous insects the transition from larva to adult requires a complete body reorganization and relies on N-glycosylated proteins. N-glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification that influences protein activity but its impact on the metamorphosis has not been studied yet. Here we used the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, to perform a first comprehensive study on the involvement of the protein N-glycosylation pathway in metamorphosis. The transcript levels for genes encoding N-glycan processing enzymes increased during later developmental stages and, in turn, transition from larva to adult coincided with an enrichment of more extensively modified paucimannose glycans, including fucosylated ones. Blockage of N-glycan attachment resulted in larval mortality, while RNAi of ?-glucosidases involved in early N-glycan trimming and quality control disrupted the larva to pupa transition. Additionally, simultaneous knockdown of multiple genes responsible for N-glycan processing towards paucimannose structures revealed their novel roles in pupal appendage formation and adult eclosion. Our findings revealed that, next to hormonal control, insect post-embryonic development and metamorphosis depend on protein N-glycan attachment and efficient N-glycan processing. Consequently, disruption of these processes could be an effective new approach for insect control.
Project description:We have previously reported three Caenorhabditis elegans genes ( gly-12, gly-13 and gly-14 ) encoding UDP- N -acetyl-D-glucosamine:alpha-3-D-mannoside beta1,2- N -acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (GnT I), an enzyme essential for hybrid and complex N-glycan synthesis. GLY-13 was shown to be the major GnT I in worms and to be the only GnT I cloned to date which can act on [Manalpha1,6(Manalpha1,3)Manalpha1,6](Manalpha1,3)Manbeta1, 4GlcNAcbeta1,4GlcNAc-R, but not on Manalpha1,6(Manalpha1,3)Manbeta1- O -R substrates. We now report the kinetic constants, bivalent-metal-ion requirements, and optimal pH, temperature and Mn(2+) concentration for this unusual enzyme. C. elegans glycoproteins are rich in oligomannose (Man(6-9)GlcNAc(2)) and 'paucimannose' Man(3-5)GlcNAc(2)(+/-Fuc) N-glycans, but contain only small amounts of complex and hybrid N-glycans. We show that the synthesis of paucimannose Man(3)GlcNAc(2) requires the prior actions of GnT I, alpha3,6-mannosidase II and a membrane-bound beta- N -acetylglucosaminidase similar to an enzyme previously reported in insects. The beta- N -acetylglucosaminidase removes terminal N -acetyl-D-glucosamine from the GlcNAcbeta1, 2Manalpha1,3Manbeta- arm of Manalpha1,6(GlcNAcbeta1,2Manalpha1,3) Manbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1,4GlcNAc-R to produce paucimannose Man(3)GlcNAc(2) N-glycan. N -acetyl-D-glucosamine removal was inhibited by two N -acetylglucosaminidase inhibitors. Terminal GlcNAc was not released from [Manalpha1,6(Manalpha1,3)Manalpha 1,6] (GlcNAcbeta1,2Manalpha1,3)Manbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1,4GlcNAc-R nor from the GlcNAcbeta1,2Manalpha1,6Manbeta- arm. These findings indicate that GLY-13 plays an important role in the synthesis of N-glycans by C. elegans and that therefore the worm should prove to be a suitable model for the study of the role of GnT I in nematode development.