Molecular Cloning, Carbohydrate Specificity and the Crystal Structure of Two Sclerotium rolfsii Lectin Variants.
ABSTRACT: SRL is a cell wall associated developmental-stage specific lectin secreted by Sclerotium rolfsii, a soil-born pathogenic fungus. SRL displays specificity for TF antigen (Gal?1?3GalNAc-?-Ser//Thr) expressed in all cancer types and has tumour suppressing effects in vivo. Considering the immense potential of SRL in cancer research, we have generated two variant gene constructs of SRL and expressed in E. coli to refine the sugar specificity and solubility by altering the surface charge. SSR1 and SSR2 are two different recombinant variants of SRL, both of which recognize TF antigen but only SSR1 binds to Tn antigen (GalNAc?-Ser/Thr). The glycan array analysis of the variants demonstrated that SSR1 recognizes TF antigen and their derivative with high affinity similar to SRL but showed highest affinity towards the sialylated Tn antigen, unlike SRL. The carbohydrate binding property of SSR2 remains unaltered compared to SRL. The crystal structures of the two variants were determined in free form and in complex with N-acetylglucosamine at 1.7 Å and 1.6 Å resolution, respectively. Structural analysis highlighted the structural basis of the fine carbohydrate specificity of the two SRL variants and results are in agreement with glycan array analysis.
Project description:The human macrophage galactose-type lectin (MGL) is a C-type lectin characterized by a unique specificity for terminal GalNAc residues present in the tumor-associated Tn antigen (?GalNAc-Ser/Thr) and its sialylated form, the sialyl-Tn antigen. However, human MGL has multiple splice variants, and whether these variants have distinct ligand-binding properties is unknown. Here, using glycan microarrays, we compared the binding properties of the short MGL 6C (MGLshort) and the long MGL 6B (MGLlong) splice variants, as well as of a histidine-to-threonine mutant (MGLshort H259T). Although the MGLshort and MGLlong variants displayed similar binding properties on the glycan array, the MGLshort H259T mutant failed to interact with the sialyl-Tn epitope. As the MGLshort H259T variant could still bind a single GalNAc monosaccharide on this array, we next investigated its binding characteristics to Tn-containing glycopeptides derived from the MGL ligands mucin 1 (MUC1), MUC2, and CD45. Strikingly, in the glycopeptide microarray, the MGLshort H259T variant lost high-affinity binding toward Tn-containing glycopeptides, especially at low probing concentrations. Moreover, MGLshort H259T was unable to recognize cancer-associated Tn epitopes on tumor cell lines. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that in WT MGLshort, His259 mediates H bonds directly or engages the Tn-glycopeptide backbone through water molecules. These bonds were lost in MGLshort H259T, thus explaining its lower binding affinity. Together, our results suggest that MGL not only connects to the Tn carbohydrate epitope, but also engages the underlying peptide via a secondary binding pocket within the MGL carbohydrate recognition domain containing the His259 residue.
Project description:Glycoproteins in animal cells contain a variety of glycan structures that are added co- and/or posttranslationally to proteins. Of over 20 different types of sugar-amino acid linkages known, the two major types are N-glycans (Asn-linked) and O-glycans (Ser/Thr-linked). An abnormal mucin-type O-glycan whose expression is associated with cancer and several human disorders is the Tn antigen. It has a relatively simple structure composed of N-acetyl-D-galactosamine with a glycosidic ??linkage to serine/threonine residues in glycoproteins (GalNAc?1-O-Ser/Thr), and was one of the first glycoconjugates to be chemically synthesized. The Tn antigen is normally modified by a specific galactosyltransferase (T-synthase) in the Golgi apparatus of cells. Expression of active T-synthase is uniquely dependent on the molecular chaperone Cosmc, which is encoded by a gene on the X chromosome. Expression of the Tn antigen can arise as a consequence of mutations in the genes for T-synthase or Cosmc, or genes affecting other steps of O-glycosylation pathways. Because of the association of the Tn antigen with disease, there is much interest in the development of Tn-based vaccines and other therapeutic approaches based on Tn expression.
Project description:Cosmc is a molecular chaperone thought to be required for expression of active T-synthase, the only enzyme that galactosylates the Tn antigen (GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr-R) to form core 1 Galbeta1-3GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr (T antigen) during mucin type O-glycan biosynthesis. Here we show that ablation of the X-linked Cosmc gene in mice causes embryonic lethality and Tn antigen expression. Loss of Cosmc is associated with loss of T-synthase but not other enzymes required for glycoprotein biosynthesis, demonstrating that Cosmc is specific in vivo for the T-synthase. We generated genetically mosaic mice with a targeted Cosmc deletion and survivors exhibited abnormalities correlated with Tn antigen expression that are related to several human diseases.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells often express Tn antigen, a tumor-associated truncated immature O-glycan (GalNAc?-O-Ser/Thr) that can promote tumor progression. Immunotherapies against Tn antigen have been developed and are being evaluated in clinical trials. Tn antigen can also be considered a novel immune checkpoint that induces immunosuppressive signaling through glycan-biding lectins to lead effector T cell apoptosis. We evaluated the correlation of Tn antigen expression by immunohistochemistry with mismatch-repair (MMR) status, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, tumor cell PD-L1 expression, and clinicopathological characteristics in 507 CRC patients. Although 91.9% of CRCs showed negative or weak Tn antigen staining (Tn-negative/weak), we identified a small subset of CRCs (8.1%) that displayed particularly intense and diffuse distribution of Tn antigen immunoreactivity (Tn-strong) that closely related to deficient MMR (dMMR). Moreover, 40 dMMR CRCs were stratified into 24 Tn-negative/weak dMMR tumors (60.0%) exhibiting dense CD8+ lymphocyte infiltrate concomitant with a high rate of PD-L1 positivity, and 16 Tn-strong dMMR tumors (40.0%) that demonstrated CD8+ T cell exclusion and a lack of PD-L1 expression, which was comparable to those of proficient MMR. Our finding suggests that the immune cold subset of patients with Tn-strong dMMR CRC may be effectively treated with immune checkpoint blockade therapy or cellular immunotherapy targeting Tn antigen.
Project description:Preliminary studies indicated that the potent insecticidal lectin, Gleheda, from the leaves of Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) preferentially agglutinates human erythrocytes carrying the Tn (GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr) antigen. However, no details have been reported yet with respect to the fine specificity of the lectin. To corroborate the molecular basis of the insecticidal activity and physiological function of Gleheda, it is necessary to identify the recognition factors that are involved in the Gleheda-glycotope interaction. In the present study, the requirement of high-density multivalent carbohydrate structural units for Gleheda binding and a fine-affinity profile were evaluated using ELLSA (enzyme-linked lectinosorbent assay) with our extended glycan/ligand collections, a glycan array and molecular modelling. From the results, we concluded that a high-density of exposed multivalent Tn-containing glycoproteins (natural armadillo and asialo ovine salivary glycoproteins) were the most potent factors for Gleheda binding. They were, on a nanogram basis, 6.5x10(5), 1.5x10(4) and 3.1x10(3) times more active than univalent Gal (galactose), GalNAc (N-acetylgalactosamine) and Tn respectively. Among mono- and oligo-saccharides examined, simple clustered Tn (molecular mass <3000 Da) from ovine salivary glycoprotein was the best, being 37.5 and 1.7x10(3) times better than GalNAc and Gal respectively. GalNAc glycosides were significantly more active than Gal glycosides, indicating that the N-acetamido group at C-2 plays an important role in Gleheda binding. The results of glycan array support the conclusions drawn with respect to the specificity of Gleheda based on the ELLSA assays. These findings combined with the results of the molecular modelling and docking indicate the occurrence of a primary GalNAcalpha1-binding site in the Gleheda monomer. However, the extraordinary binding feature of Gleheda for glycoproteins demonstrates the importance of affinity enhancement by high-density multivalent glycotopes in the ligand-lectin interactions in biological processes.
Project description:Anti-carbohydrate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) hold great promise as cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. However, their specificity can be mixed, and detailed characterization is problematic, because antibody-glycan complexes are challenging to crystallize. Here, we developed a generalizable approach employing high-throughput techniques for characterizing the structure and specificity of such mAbs, and applied it to the mAb TKH2 developed against the tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen sialyl-Tn (STn). The mAb specificity was defined by apparent KD values determined by quantitative glycan microarray screening. Key residues in the antibody combining site were identified by site-directed mutagenesis, and the glycan-antigen contact surface was defined using saturation transfer difference NMR (STD-NMR). These features were then employed as metrics for selecting the optimal 3D-model of the antibody-glycan complex, out of thousands plausible options generated by automated docking and molecular dynamics simulation. STn-specificity was further validated by computationally screening of the selected antibody 3D-model against the human sialyl-Tn-glycome. This computational-experimental approach would allow rational design of potent antibodies targeting carbohydrates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Tn neoantigen (GalNAcα1-O-Ser/Thr) is an O-glycan expressed in various types of human cancers. Studies in several Tn-expressing cancer cell lines and pancreatic tumors have identified loss of Cosmc expression caused by either mutations or promoter hypermethylation. In this study, we explored the mechanism(s) for Tn expression in human colorectal cancers (CRC). METHODS:Tn-expressing cell populations were isolated from CRC cell lines by Fluorescence-associated cell sorting (FACS). The expression of the Tn and sialylated Tn (STn) antigens, Cosmc, T-synthase, and mucins was characterized in paired specimens with CRC and in CRC cell lines by immunostaining, western blot, and qPCR. RESULTS:Using well-defined monoclonal antibodies, we confirmed prevalent Tn/STn expression in CRC samples. However, a majority of these tumors had elevated T-synthase activity and expression of both Cosmc and T-synthase proteins. Meanwhile, Tn antigen expression was not caused by mucin overproduction. In addition, we found that Tn-expressing CRC cell lines had either loss-of-function mutations in Cosmc or reversible Tn antigen expression, which was not caused by the deficiency of T-synthase activity. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate multiple mechanisms for Tn expression in CRCs.
Project description:Bifidobacteria inhabit the lower intestine of mammals including humans where the mucin gel layer forms a space for commensal bacteria. We previously identified that infant-associated bifidobacteria possess an extracellular membrane-bound endo-?-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (EngBF) that may be involved in degradation and assimilation of mucin-type oligosaccharides. However, EngBF is highly specific for core-1-type O-glycan (Gal?1-3GalNAc?1-Ser/Thr), also called T antigen, which is mainly attached onto gastroduodenal mucins. By contrast, core-3-type O-glycans (GlcNAc?1-3GalNAc?1-Ser/Thr) are predominantly found on the mucins in the intestines. Here, we identified a novel ?-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (NagBb) from Bifidobacterium bifidum JCM 1254 that hydrolyzes the Tn antigen (GalNAc?1-Ser/Thr). Sialyl and galactosyl core-3 (Gal?1-3/4GlcNAc?1-3(Neu5Ac?2-6)GalNAc?1-Ser/Thr), a major tetrasaccharide structure on MUC2 mucin primarily secreted from goblet cells in human sigmoid colon, can be serially hydrolyzed into Tn antigen by previously identified bifidobacterial extracellular glycosidases such as ?-sialidase (SiaBb2), lacto-N-biosidase (LnbB), ?-galactosidase (BbgIII), and ?-N-acetylhexosaminidases (BbhI and BbhII). Because NagBb is an intracellular enzyme without an N-terminal secretion signal sequence, it is likely involved in intracellular degradation and assimilation of Tn antigen-containing polypeptides, which might be incorporated through unknown transporters. Thus, bifidobacteria possess two distinct pathways for assimilation of O-glycans on gastroduodenal and intestinal mucins. NagBb homologs are conserved in infant-associated bifidobacteria, suggesting a significant role for their adaptation within the infant gut, and they were found to form a new glycoside hydrolase family 129.
Project description:Expression of the tumor-associated glycan Tn antigen (?GalNAc-Ser/Thr) has been correlated to poor prognosis and metastasis in multiple cancer types. However, the exact mechanisms exerted by Tn antigen to support tumor growth are still lacking. One emerging hallmark of cancer is evasion of immune destruction. Although tumor cells often exploit the glycosylation machinery to interact with the immune system, the contribution of Tn antigen to an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment has scarcely been studied. Here, we explored how Tn antigen influences the tumor immune cell composition in a colorectal cancer (CRC) mouse model. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock out of the C1galt1c1 gene resulted in elevated Tn antigen levels on the cell surface of the CRC cell line MC38 (MC38-Tnhigh). RNA sequencing and subsequent GO term enrichment analysis of our Tnhigh glycovariant not only revealed differences in MAPK signaling and cell migration, but also in antigen processing and presentation as well as in cytotoxic T cell responses. Indeed, MC38-Tnhigh tumors displayed increased tumor growth in vivo, which was correlated with an altered tumor immune cell infiltration, characterized by reduced levels of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and enhanced accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Interestingly, no systemic differences in T cell subsets were observed. Together, our data demonstrate for the first time that Tn antigen expression in the CRC tumor microenvironment affects the tumor-associated immune cell repertoire.
Project description:The Thomsen-Friedenreich-antigen, Gal(?1-3)GalNAc(?1-O-Ser/Thr (TF-antigen), is presented on the surface of most human cancer cell types. Its interaction with galectin 1 and galectin 3 leads to tumor cell aggregation and promotes cancer metastasis and T-cell apoptosis in epithelial tissue. To further explore multivalent binding between the TF-antigen and galectin-3, the TF-antigen was enzymatically synthesized in high yields with GalNAc(?1-EG3-azide as the acceptor substrate by use of the glycosynthase BgaC/Glu233Gly. Subsequently, it was coupled to alkynyl-functionalized bovine serum albumin via a copper(I)-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition. This procedure yielded neo-glycoproteins with tunable glycan multivalency for binding studies. Glycan densities between 2 and 53 glycan residues per protein molecule were obtained by regulated alkynyl-modification of the lysine residues of BSA. The number of coupled glycans was quantified by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and a trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid assay. The binding efficiency of the neo-glycoproteins with human galectin-3 and the effect of multivalency was investigated and assessed using an enzyme-linked lectin assay. Immobilized neo-glycoproteins of all modification densities showed binding of Gal-3 with increasing glycan density. However, multivalent glycan presentation did not result in a higher binding affinity. In contrast, inhibition of Gal-3 binding to asialofetuin was effective. The relative inhibitory potency was increased by a factor of 142 for neo-glycoproteins displaying 10 glycans/protein in contrast to highly decorated inhibitors with only 2-fold increase. In summary, the functionality of BSA-based neo-glycoproteins presenting the TF-antigen as multivalent inhibitors for Gal-3 was demonstrated.