Efficient Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of N-Glycans with a β1,4-Galactosylated Bisecting GlcNAc Motif.
ABSTRACT: In human serum immunoglobulin G (IgG), a rare modification of biantennary complex N-glycans lead to a β1,4-galactosylated bisecting GlcNAc branch. We found that the bisecting GlcNAc on a biantennary core-fucosylated N-glycan was enzymatically galactosylated under stringent reaction conditions. Further optimizations led to an efficient enzymatic approach to this particular modification for biantennary substrates. Notably, tri- and tetra-antennary complex N-glycans were not converted by bovine galactosyltransferase. An N-glycan with a galactosylated bisecting GlcNAc was linked to a lanthanide binding tag. The pseudo-contact shifts (PCS) obtained from the corresponding Dy-complex were used to calculate the conformational preferences of the rare N-glycan. Besides two extended conformations only a single folded conformation was found.
Project description:Dendritic cell inhibitory receptor 2 (DCIR2) is a C-type lectin expressed on classical dendritic cells. We recently identified the unique ligand specificity of mouse DCIR2 (mDCIR2) toward biantennary complex-type glycans containing bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). Here, we report the crystal structures of the mDCIR2 carbohydrate recognition domain in unliganded form as well as in complex with an agalactosylated complex-type N-glycan unit carrying a bisecting GlcNAc residue. Bisecting GlcNAc and the ?1-3 branch of the biantennary oligosaccharide asymmetrically interact with canonical and non-canonical mDCIR2 residues. Ligand-protein interactions occur directly through mDCIR2-characteristic amino acid residues as well as via a calcium ion and water molecule. Our structural and biochemical data elucidate for the first time the unique binding mode of mDCIR2 for bisecting GlcNAc-containing glycans, a mode that contrasts sharply with that of other immune C-type lectin receptors such as DC-SIGN.
Project description:Recombinant proteins produced in insect cells and insects, unlike those produced in mammalian cells, have pauci-mannose-type N-glycans. In this study, we examined complex-type N-glycans on recombinant proteins via coexpression of human β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase II (hGnT II) and human β1,4-galactosyltransferase (hGalT I) in silkworm pupae, by using the Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) bacmid system. The actin A3 promoter from B. mori and the polyhedrin promoter from Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedroviruses (AcMNPVs) were used to coexpress hGnT II and hGalT I. These recombinant BmNPVs were coexpressed with human IgG (hIgG), hGnT II and hGalT I in silkworm pupae. When hIgG was coexpressed with hGnT II, approximately 15% of all N-glycans were biantennary, with both arms terminally modified with N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). In contrast, when hIgG was coexpressed with both hGnT II and hGalT I under the control of the polyhedrin promoter, 27% of all N-glycans were biantennary and terminally modified with GlcNAc, with up to 5% carrying one galactose and 11% carrying two. The obtained N-glycan structure was dependent on the promoters used for coexpression of hGnT II or hGalT I. This is the first report of silkworm pupae producing a biantennary, terminally galactosylated N-glycan in a recombinant protein. These results suggest that silkworms can be used as alternatives to insect and mammalian hosts to produce recombinant glycoproteins with complex N-glycans.
Project description:The early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a complex clinical obstacle yet is key to improving the overall likelihood of patient survival. Current and prospective carbohydrate biomarkers carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) and sialylated tumor-related antigen (sTRA) are sufficient for surveilling disease progression yet are not approved for delineating PDAC from other abdominal cancers and noncancerous pancreatic pathologies. To further understand these glycan epitopes, an imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) approach was used to assess the N-glycome of the human pancreas and pancreatic cancer in a cohort of patients with PDAC represented by tissue microarrays and whole-tissue sections. Orthogonally, these same tissues were characterized by multiround immunofluorescence that defined expression of CA19-9 and sTRA as well as other lectins toward carbohydrate epitopes with the potential to improve PDAC diagnosis. These analyses revealed distinct differences not only in N-glycan spatial localization across both healthy and diseased tissues but importantly between different biomarker-categorized tissue samples. Unique sulfated biantennary N-glycans were detected specifically in normal pancreatic islets. N-glycans from CA19-9-expressing tissues tended to be biantennary, triantennary, and tetra-antennary structures with both core and terminal fucose residues and bisecting GlcNAc. These N-glycans were detected in less abundance in sTRA-expressing tumor tissues, which favored triantennary and tetra-antennary structures with polylactosamine extensions. Increased sialylation of N-glycans was detected in all tumor tissues. A candidate new biomarker derived from IMS was further explored by fluorescence staining with selected lectins on the same tissues. The lectins confirmed the expression of the epitopes in cancer cells and revealed different tumor-associated staining patterns between glycans with bisecting GlcNAc and those with terminal GlcNAc. Thus, the combination of lectin-immunohistochemistry and lectin-IMS techniques produces more complete information for tumor classification than the individual analyses alone. These findings potentiate the development of early assessment technologies to rapidly and specifically identify PDAC in the clinic that may directly impact patient outcomes.
Project description:Plant-based expression system has many potential advantages to produce biopharmaceuticals, but plants cannot be directly used to express human glycoproteins because of their differences in glycosylation abilities from mammals. To exploit plant-based expression system for producing recombinant human erythropoietin (rhuEPO), we glycoengineered tobacco plants by stably introducing seven to eight mammalian genes including a target human EPO into tobacco in order to generate capacities for β1,4-galactosylation, bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and sialylation. Wild type human β1,4-galactosyltransferase gene (GalT) or a chimeric GalT gene (ST/GalT) was co-expressed to produce rhuEPO bearing β1,4-galactose-extended N-glycan chains as well as compare their β1,4-galactosylation efficiencies. Five mammalian genes encoding enzymes/transporter for sialic acid biosynthesis, transport and transfer were co-expressed to build sialylation capacity in plants. The human MGAT3 was co-expressed to produce N-glycan chains with bisecting GlcNAc. Our results demonstrated that the above transgenes were incorporated into tobacco genome and transcribed. ST/GalT was found to be more efficient than GalT for β1,4-galactosylation. Furthermore, co-expressing MGAT3 generated N-glycans likely bearing bisected GlcNAc. However, our current efforts did not result in generating sialylation capacity. Created transgenic plants expressing EPO and ST/GalT could be used to produce rhuEPO with high proportion of β1,4-galactose-extended N-glycan chains for tissue protective purposes.
Project description:N-Linked glycopeptides have highly diverse structures in nature. Herein, we describe the first synthesis of rare multi-antennary N-glycan bearing glycan chains on 6-OH of both ?1,6- and ?1,3-linked mannose arms. To expedite divergent generation of N-glycan structures, four orthogonal protective groups were installed at the branching points on the core tetrasaccharide, which could be removed individually without affecting one another. In addition, the synthetic route is flexible, allowing a bisecting glucosamine moiety to be introduced at a late stage of the synthesis, further expanding the diversity of sequences that could be achieved. The bisecting glucosamine unit significantly reduced the glycosylation yields of adjacent mannoses, which was attributed to steric hindrance imposed by the glucosamine based on molecular modelling analysis. The N-glycans were then transformed to oxazoline donors and ligated with a glycopeptide acceptor from haptoglobin promoted by the wild type Arthrobacter endo-?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (Endo-A). Endo-A exhibited interesting substrate preferences depending on donor sizes, which was rationalized through molecular dynamics studies. This is the first time that a glycopeptide bearing a bisecting N-acetyl glucosamine (GlcNAc), the rare N-glycan branch, and two LewisX trisaccharide antennae was synthesized, enabling access to this class of complex glycopeptide structures.
Project description:Glycoproteins are decorated with complex glycans for protein functions. However, regulation mechanisms of complex glycan biosynthesis are largely unclear. Here we found that bisecting GlcNAc, a branching sugar residue in N-glycan, suppresses the biosynthesis of various types of terminal epitopes in N-glycans, including fucose, sialic acid and human natural killer-1. Expression of these epitopes in N-glycan was elevated in mice lacking the biosynthetic enzyme of bisecting GlcNAc, GnT-III, and was conversely suppressed by GnT-III overexpression in cells. Many glycosyltransferases for N-glycan terminals were revealed to prefer a nonbisected N-glycan as a substrate to its bisected counterpart, whereas no up-regulation of their mRNAs was found. This indicates that the elevated expression of the terminal N-glycan epitopes in GnT-III-deficient mice is attributed to the substrate specificity of the biosynthetic enzymes. Molecular dynamics simulations further confirmed that nonbisected glycans were preferentially accepted by those glycosyltransferases. These findings unveil a new regulation mechanism of protein N-glycosylation.
Project description:Human natural killer-1 (HNK-1) is a sulfated glyco-epitope regulating cell adhesion and synaptic functions. HNK-1 and its non-sulfated forms, which are specifically expressed in the brain and the kidney, respectively, are distinctly biosynthesized by two homologous glycosyltransferases: GlcAT-P in the brain and GlcAT-S in the kidney. However, it is largely unclear how the activity of these isozymes is regulated in vivo. We recently found that bisecting GlcNAc, a branching sugar in <i>N</i>-glycan, suppresses both GlcAT-P activity and HNK-1 expression in the brain. Here, we observed that the expression of non-sulfated HNK-1 in the kidney is unexpectedly unaltered in mutant mice lacking bisecting GlcNAc. This suggests that the biosynthesis of HNK-1 in the brain and the kidney are differentially regulated by bisecting GlcNAc. Mechanistically, in vitro activity assays demonstrated that bisecting GlcNAc inhibits the activity of GlcAT-P but not that of GlcAT-S. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulation showed that GlcAT-P binds poorly to bisected <i>N</i>-glycan substrates, whereas GlcAT-S binds similarly to bisected and non-bisected <i>N</i>-glycans. These findings revealed the difference of the highly homologous isozymes for HNK-1 synthesis, highlighting the novel mechanism of the tissue-specific regulation of HNK-1 synthesis by bisecting GlcNAc.
Project description:Glycosylation, the most prevalent and diverse post-translational modification of protein, plays crucial biological roles in many physiological and pathological events. Alteration of N-glycan has been detected during breast cancer progression. Among the specific N-glycan structures, bisecting N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a ?1,4-linked GlcNAc attached to the core ?-mannose residue, and is catalyzed by glycosyltransferase MGAT3. Bisecting GlcNAc levels were commonly dysregulated in different types of cancer. In this study, we utilized mass spectrometry and lectin microarray analysis to investigate aberrant N-glycans in breast cancer cells. Our data showed the decreased levels of bisecting GlcNAc and down-regulated expression of MGAT3 in breast cancer cells than normal epithelial cells. Using PHA-E (a plant lectin recognizing and combining bisecting GlcNAc) based enrichment coupled with nanoLC-MS/MS, we analyzed the glycoproteins bearing bisecting GlcNAc in various breast cancer cells. Among the differentially expressed glycoproteins, levels of bisecting GlcNAc on EGFR were significantly decreased in breast cancer cells, confirmed by immunostaining and immunoprecipitation. We overexpressed MGAT3 in breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells, and overexpression of MGAT3 significantly enhanced the bisecting N-GlcNAc on EGFR and suppressed the EGFR/Erk signaling, which further resulted in the reduction of migratory ability, cell proliferation, and clonal formation. Taken together, we conclude that bisecting N-GlcNAc on EGFR inhibits malignant phenotype of breast cancer via down-regulation of EGFR/Erk signaling.
Project description:N-glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification affecting the properties and quality of therapeutic proteins. Glycoengineering in yeast aims to produce proteins carrying human-compatible glycosylation, enabling the production of therapeutic proteins in yeasts. In this work, we demonstrate further development and characterization of a glycoengineering strategy in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Δalg3 Δalg11 strain where a truncated Man<sub>3</sub>GlcNAc<sub>2</sub> glycan precursor is formed due to a disrupted lipid-linked oligosaccharide synthesis pathway. We produced galactosylated complex-type and hybrid-like N-glycans by expressing a human galactosyltransferase fusion protein both with and without a UDP-glucose 4-epimerase domain from Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Our results showed that the presence of the UDP-glucose 4-epimerase domain was beneficial for the production of digalactosylated complex-type glycans also when extracellular galactose was supplied, suggesting that the positive impact of the UDP-glucose 4-epimerase domain on the galactosylation process can be linked to other processes than its catalytic activity. Moreover, optimization of the expression of human GlcNAc transferases I and II and supplementation of glucosamine in the growth medium increased the formation of galactosylated complex-type glycans. Additionally, we provide further characterization of the interfering mannosylation taking place in the glycoengineered yeast strain. KEY POINTS: • Glycoengineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae can form galactosylated N-glycans. • Genetic constructs impact the activities of the expressed glycosyltransferases. • Growth medium supplementation increases formation of target N-glycan structure.
Project description:The importance of multivalency for N-glycan-protein interactions has primarily been studied by attachment of minimal epitopes to artificial multivalent scaffold and not in the context of multi-antennary glycans. N-glycans can be modified by bisecting GlcNAc, core xylosides and fucosides, and extended N-acetyl lactosamine moieties. The impact of such modifications on glycan recognition are also not well understood. We describe here a chemoenzymatic methodology that can provide N-glycans expressed by the parasitic worm S. mansoni having unique epitopes at each antenna and containing core xyloside. NMR, computational and electron microscopy were employed to investigate recognition of the glycans by the human lectin DC-SIGN. It revealed that core xyloside does not influence terminal epitope recognition. The multi-antennary glycans bound with higher affinity to DC-SIGN compared to mono-valent counterparts, which was attributed to proximity-induced effective concentration. The multi-antennary glycans cross-linked DC-SIGN into a dense network, which likely is relevant for antigen uptake and intracellular routing.