Turning-Off Signaling by Siglecs, Selectins, and Galectins: Chemical Inhibition of Glycan-Dependent Interactions in Cancer.
ABSTRACT: Aberrant glycosylation, a common feature associated with malignancy, has been implicated in important events during cancer progression. Our understanding of the role of glycans in cancer has grown exponentially in the last few years, concurrent with important advances in glycomics and glycoproteomic technologies, paving the way for the validation of a number of glycan structures as potential glycobiomarkers. However, the molecular bases underlying cancer-associated glycan modifications are still far from understood. Glycans exhibit a natural heterogeneity, crucial for their diverse functional roles as specific carriers of biologically relevant information. This information is decoded by families of proteins named lectins, including sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin (Ig)-like lectins (siglecs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), and galectins. Siglecs are primarily expressed on the surface of immune cells and differentially control innate and adaptive immune responses. Among CLRs, selectins are a family of cell adhesion molecules that mediate interactions between cancer cells and platelets, leukocytes, and endothelial cells, thus facilitating tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Galectins, a family of soluble proteins that bind ?-galactoside-containing glycans, have been implicated in diverse events associated with cancer biology such as apoptosis, homotypic cell aggregation, angiogenesis, cell migration, and tumor-immune escape. Consequently, individual members of these lectin families have become promising targets for the design of novel anticancer therapies. During the past decade, a number of inhibitors of lectin-glycan interactions have been developed including small-molecule inhibitors, multivalent saccharide ligands, and more recently peptides and peptidomimetics have offered alternatives for tackling tumor progression. In this article, we review the current status of the discovery and development of chemical lectin inhibitors and discuss novel strategies to limit cancer progression by targeting lectin-glycan interactions.
Project description:The glycan ligands recognized by Siglecs, influenza viruses, and galectins, as well as many plant lectins, are not well defined. To explore their binding to asparagine (Asn)-linked N-glycans, we synthesized a library of isomeric multiantennary N-glycans that vary in terminal non-reducing sialic acid, galactose, and N-acetylglucosamine residues, as well as core fucose. We identified specific recognition of N-glycans by several plant lectins, human galectins, influenza viruses, and Siglecs, and explored the influence of sialic acid linkages and branching of the N-glycans. These results show the unique recognition of complex-type N-glycans by a wide variety of glycan-binding proteins and their abilities to distinguish isomeric structures, which provides new insights into the biological roles of these proteins and the uses of lectins in biological applications to identify glycans.
Project description:Microglia are the innate sentinels of the central nervous system (CNS) and are responsible for the homeostasis and immune defense of the CNS. Under the influence of the local environment and cell-cell interaction, microglia exhibit a multidimensional and context-dependent phenotypes that can be cytotoxic and neuroprotective. Recent studies suggest that microglia express multitudinous types of lectins, including galectins, Siglecs, mannose-binding lectins (MBLs) and other glycan binding proteins. Because most studies that examine lectins focus on the peripheral system, the functions of lectins have not been critically investigated in the CNS. In addition, the types of brain cells that contribute to the altered levels of lectins present in diseases are often unclear. In this review, we will discuss how galectins, Siglecs, selectins and MBLs contribute to the dynamic functions of microglia. The interacting ligands of these lectins are complex glycoconjugates, which consist of glycoproteins and glycolipids that are expressed on microglia or surrounding cells. The current understanding of the heterogeneity and functions of glycans in the brain is limited. Galectins are a group of pleotropic proteins that recognize both ?-galactoside-containing glycans and non- ?-galactoside-containing proteins. The function and regulation of galectins have been implicated in immunomodulation, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, phagocytosis and oxidative bursts. Most Siglecs are expressed at a low level on the plasma membrane and bind to sialic acid residues for immunosurveillance and cell-cell communication. Siglecs are classified based on their inhibitory and activatory downstream signaling properties. Inhibitory Siglecs negatively regulate microglia activation upon recognizing the intact sialic acid patterns and vice versa. MBLs are expressed upon infection in cytoplasm and can be secreted in order to recognize molecules containing terminal mannose as an innate immune defense machinery. Most importantly, multiple studies have reported dysregulation of lectins in neurological disorders. Here, we reviewed recent studies on microglial lectins and their functions in CNS health and disease, and suggest that these lectin families are novel, potent therapeutic targets for neurological diseases.
Project description:Malignant transformation of cells is associated with aberrant glycosylation presented on the cell-surface. Commonly observed changes in glycan structures during malignancy encompass aberrant expression and glycosylation of mucins; abnormal branching of N-glycans; and increased presence of sialic acid on proteins and glycolipids. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that the presence of certain glycan structures correlates with cancer progression by affecting tumor-cell invasiveness, ability to disseminate through the blood circulation and to metastasize in distant organs. During metastasis tumor-cell-derived glycans enable binding to cells in their microenvironment including endothelium and blood constituents through glycan-binding receptors - lectins. In this review, we will discuss current concepts how tumor-cell-derived glycans contribute to metastasis with the focus on three types of lectins: siglecs, galectins, and selectins. Siglecs are present on virtually all hematopoietic cells and usually negatively regulate immune responses. Galectins are mostly expressed by tumor cells and support tumor-cell survival. Selectins are vascular adhesion receptors that promote tumor-cell dissemination. All lectins facilitate interactions within the tumor microenvironment and thereby promote cancer progression. The identification of mechanisms how tumor glycans contribute to metastasis may help to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and aid to develop clinical strategies to prevent metastasis.
Project description:Here we describe a glycan microarray constructed by using standard robotic microarray printing technology to couple amine functionalized glycans to an amino-reactive glass slide. The array comprises 200 synthetic and natural glycan sequences representing major glycan structures of glycoproteins and glycolipids. The array has remarkable utility for profiling the specificity of a diverse range of glycan binding proteins, including C-type lectins, siglecs, galectins, anticarbohydrate antibodies, lectins from plants and microbes, and intact viruses.
Project description:The view on the significance of the presence of glycans in glycoconjugates is undergoing a paradigmatic change. Initially mostly considered to be rather inert and passive, the concept of the sugar code identifies glycans as highly versatile platform to store information. Their chemical properties endow carbohydrates to form oligomers with unsurpassed structural variability. Owing to their capacity to engage in hydrogen (and coordination) bonding and C-H/?-interactions these "code words" can be "read" (in Latin, legere) by specific receptors. A distinct class of carbohydrate-binding proteins are the lectins. More than a dozen protein folds have developed carbohydrate-binding capacity in vertebrates. Taking galectins as an example, distinct expression patterns are traced. The availability of labeled endogenous lectins facilitates monitoring of tissue reactivity, extending the scope of lectin histochemistry beyond that which traditionally involved plant lectins. Presentation of glycan and its cognate lectin can be orchestrated, making a glycan-based effector pathway in growth control of tumor and activated T cells possible. In order to unravel the structural basis of lectin specificity for particular glycoconjugates mimetics of branched glycans and programmable models of cell surfaces are being developed by strategic combination of lectin research with synthetic and supramolecular chemistry.
Project description:Glycans are carbohydrate modifications typically found on proteins or lipids, and can act as ligands for glycan-binding proteins called lectins. Glycans and lectins play crucial roles in the function of cells and organs, and in the immune system of animals and humans. Viral pathogens use glycans and lectins that are encoded by their own or the host genome for their replication and spread. Recent advances in glycobiological research indicate that glycans and lectins mediate key interactions at the virus-host interface, controlling viral spread and/or activation of the immune system. This review reflects on glycan-lectin interactions in the context of viral infection and antiviral immunity. A short introduction illustrates the nature of glycans and lectins, and conveys the basic principles of their interactions. Subsequently, examples are discussed highlighting specific glycan-lectin interactions and how they affect the progress of viral infections, either benefiting the host or the virus. Moreover, glycan and lectin variability and their potential biological consequences are discussed. Finally, the review outlines how recent advances in the glycan-lectin field might be transformed into promising new approaches to antiviral therapy.
Project description:A new microarray platform, based on lectin super-microarrays and glycans labeled with dye-doped nanoparticles, has been developed to study glycan-lectin interactions. Glycan ligands were conjugated onto fluorescein-doped silica nanoparticles (FSNPs) using a general photocoupling chemistry to afford FSNP-labeled glycan probes. Lectins were printed on epoxy slides in duplicate sets to generate lectin super-microarrays where multiple assays could be carried out simultaneously in each lectin microarray. Thus, the lectin super-microarray was treated with FSNP-labeled glycans to screen for specific binding pairs. Furthermore, a series of ligand competition assays were carried out on a single lectin super-microarray to generate the dose-response curve for each glycan-lectin pair, from which the apparent affinity constants were obtained. Results showed 4-7 orders of magnitude increase in affinity over the free glycans with the corresponding lectins. Thus, the glycan epitope structures having weaker affinity than the parent glycans could be readily identified and analyzed from the lectin super-microarrays.
Project description:Improved methods for studying glycans could spur significant advances in the understanding and application of glycobiology. The use of affinity reagents such as lectins and glycan-binding antibodies is a valuable complement to methods involving mass spectrometry and chromatography. Many lectins, however, are not useful as analytic tools due to low affinity in vitro. As an approach to increasing lectin avidity to targeted glycans, we tested the use of lectin multimerization. Several biotinylated lectins were linked together through streptavidin interactions. The binding of certain lectins for purified glycoproteins and glycoproteins captured directly out of biological solutions was increased using multimerization, resulting in the detection of lower concentrations of glycoprotein than possible using monomeric detection. The analysis of glycoproteins in plasma samples showed that the level of binding enhancement through multimerization was not equivalent across patient samples. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) reactive glycans on fibronectin and thrombospondin-5 were preferentially bound by multimers in pancreatic cancer patient samples relative to control samples, suggesting a cancer-associated change in glycan density that could be detected only through lectin multimerization. This strategy could lead to the more sensitive and informative detection of glycans in biological samples and a broader spectrum of lectins that are useful as analytical reagents.
Project description:The sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type of lectins (Siglecs) are receptors that recognize sialic acid-containing glycans. In the majority of the cases, Siglecs are expressed on immune cells and play a critical role in regulating immune cell signaling. Over the years, it has been shown that the sialic acid-Siglec axis participates in immunological homeostasis, and that any imbalance can trigger different pathologies, such as autoimmune diseases or cancer. For all this, different therapeutics have been developed that bind to Siglecs, either based on antibodies or being smaller molecules. In this review, we briefly introduce the Siglec family and we compile a description of glycan-based molecules and antibody-based therapies (including CAR-T and bispecific antibodies) that have been designed to therapeutically targeting Siglecs.
Project description:Lectin-glycan interactions have critical functions in multiple normal and pathological processes, but the binding partners and functions for many glycans and lectins are not known. An important step in better understanding glycan-lectin biology is enabling systematic quantification and analysis of the interactions. Glycan arrays can provide the experimental information for such analyses, and the thousands of glycan array datasets available through the Consortium for Functional Glycomics provide the opportunity to extend the analyses to a broad scale. We developed software, based on our previously described Motif Segregation algorithm, for the automated analysis of glycan array data, and we analyzed the entire storehouse of 2883 datasets from the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. We mined the resulting database to make comparisons of specificities across multiple lectins and comparisons between glycans in their lectin receptors. Of the lectins in the database, viral lectins were the most different from other organism types, with specificities nearly always restricted to sialic acids, and mammalian lectins had the most diverse range of specificities. Certain mammalian lectins were unique in their specificities for sulfated glycans. Simple modifications to a lactosamine core structure radically altered the types of lectins that were highly specific for the glycan. Unmodified lactosamine was specifically recognized by plant, fungal, viral, and mammalian lectins; sialylation shifted the binding mainly to viral lectins; and sulfation resulted in mainly mammalian lectins with the highest specificities. We anticipate that this analysis program and database will be valuable in fundamental glycobiology studies, detailed analyses of lectin specificities, and practical applications in translational research.