188 research outputs found

    Sialic acids on B cells are crucial for their survival and provide protection against apoptosis.

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    Sialic acids (Sias) on the B cell membrane are involved in cell migration, in the control of the complement system and, as sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec) ligands, in the regulation of cellular signaling. We studied the role of sialoglycans on B cells in a mouse model with B cell-specific deletion of cytidine monophosphate sialic acid synthase (CMAS), the enzyme essential for the synthesis of sialoglycans. Surprisingly, these mice showed a severe B cell deficiency in secondary lymphoid organs. Additional depletion of the complement factor C3 rescued the phenotype only marginally, demonstrating a complement-independent mechanism. The B cell survival receptor BAFF receptor was not up-regulated, and levels of activated caspase 3 and processed caspase 8 were high in B cells of Cmas-deficient mice, indicating ongoing apoptosis. Overexpressed Bcl-2 could not rescue this phenotype, pointing to extrinsic apoptosis. These results show that sialoglycans on the B cell surface are crucial for B cell survival by counteracting several death-inducing pathways

    Golgi targeting of Drosophila melanogaster β4GalNAcTB requires a DHHC protein family–related protein as a pilot

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    Drosophila melanogaster β4GalNAcTB mutant flies revealed that this particular N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase is predominant in the formation of lacdiNAc (GalNAcβ1,4GlcNAc)-modified glycolipids, but enzymatic activity could not be confirmed for the cloned enzyme. Using a heterologous expression cloning approach, we isolated β4GalNAcTB together with β4GalNAcTB pilot (GABPI), a multimembrane-spanning protein related to Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC) proteins but lacking the DHHC consensus sequence. In the absence of GABPI, inactive β4GalNAcTB is trapped in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Coexpression of β4GalNAcTB and GABPI generates the active enzyme that is localized together with GABPI in the Golgi. GABPI associates with β4GalNAcTB and, when expressed with an ER retention signal, holds active β4GalNAcTB in the ER. Importantly, treatment of isolated membrane vesicles with Triton X-100 disturbs β4GalNAcTB activity. This phenomenon occurs with multimembrane-spanning glycosyltransferases but is normally not a property of glycosyltransferases with one membrane anchor. In summary, our data provide evidence that GABPI is required for ER export and activity of β4GalNAcTB

    Polysialylated neuropilin-2 enhances human dendritic cell migration through the basic C-terminal region of CCL21.

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    Free Access at: http://glycob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20488940Dendritic cell (DC) migration to secondary lymphoid organs is a critical step to properly exert its role in immunity; and predominantly depends on the interaction of the chemokine receptor CCR7 with its ligands CCL21 and CCL19. Polysialic acid (PSA) has been recently reported to control CCL21-directed migration of mature DCs. Here; we first demonstrate that PSA present on human mature monocyte-derived dendritic cells did not enhance chemotactic responses to CCL19. We have also explored the molecular mechanisms underlying the selective enhancing effect of PSA on CCL21-driven chemotaxis of DCs. In this regard; we found out that prevention of DC polysialylation decreased CCL21 activation of JNK and Akt signaling pathways; both associated with CCR7-mediated chemotaxis. We also report that the enhanced PSA-mediated effect on DC migration towards CCL21 relied on the highly basic C-terminal region of this chemokine; and depended on the PSA acceptor molecule neuropilin-2 (NRP2) and on the polysialyltransferase ST8SiaIV. Altogether; our data indicate that the CCR7/CCL21/NRP2/ST8SiaIV functional axis constitutes an important guidance clue for DC targeting to lymphoid organs.This work was supported by research grant from Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo (FISPI0708879 to MAV).Peer reviewe

    A New Family of Capsule Polymerases Generates Teichoic Acid-Like Capsule Polymers in Gram-Negative Pathogens

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    Group 2 capsule polymers represent crucial virulence factors of Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria. They are synthesized by enzymes called capsule polymerases. In this report, we describe a new family of polymerases that combine glycosyltransferase and hexose- and polyol-phosphate transferase activity to generate complex poly(oligosaccharide phosphate) and poly(glycosylpolyol phosphate) polymers, the latter of which display similarity to wall teichoic acid (WTA), a cell wall component of Gram-positive bacteria. Using modeling and multiple-sequence alignment, we showed homology between the predicted polymerase domains and WTA type I biosynthesis enzymes, creating a link between Gram-negative and Gram-positive cell wall biosynthesis processes. The polymerases of the new family are highly abundant and found in a variety of capsule-expressing pathogens such as Neisseria meningitidis, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Bibersteinia trehalosi, and Escherichia coli with both human and animal hosts. Five representative candidates were purified, their activities were confirmed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and their predicted folds were validated by site-directed mutagenesis.(VLID)266645

    Mix-and-Match System for the Enzymatic Synthesis of Enantiopure Glycerol-3-Phosphate-Containing Capsule Polymer Backbones from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Bibersteinia trehalosi

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    Capsule polymers are crucial virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria and are used as antigens in glycoconjugate vaccine formulations. Some Gram-negative pathogens express poly(glycosylglycerol phosphate) capsule polymers that resemble Gram-positive wall teichoic acids and are synthesized by TagF-like capsule polymerases. So far, the biotechnological use of these enzymes for vaccine developmental studies was restricted by the unavailability of enantiopure CDP-glycerol, one of the donor substrates required for polymer assembly. Here, we use CTP:glycerol-phosphate cytidylyltransferases (GCTs) and TagF-like polymerases to synthesize the poly(glycosylglycerol phosphate) capsule polymer backbones of the porcine pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, serotypes 3 and 7 (App3 and App7). GCT activity was confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and polymers were analyzed using comprehensive nuclear magnetic resonance studies. Solid-phase synthesis protocols were established to allow potential scale-up of polymer production. In addition, one-pot reactions exploiting glycerol-kinase allowed us to start the reaction from inexpensive, widely available substrates. Finally, this study highlights that multidomain TagF-like polymerases can be transformed by mutagenesis of active site residues into single-action transferases, which in turn can act in trans to build-up structurally new polymers. Overall, our protocols provide enantiopure, nature-identical capsule polymer backbones from App2, App3, App7, App9, and App11, Neisseria meningitidis serogroup H, and Bibersteinia trehalosi serotypes T3 and T15

    Combined chemical synthesis and tailored enzymatic elongation provide fully synthetic and conjugation-ready Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X vaccine antigens

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    Studies on the polymerization mode of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X capsular polymerase CsxA recently identified a truncated construct that can be immobilized and used for length controlled on-column production of oligosaccharides. Here, we combined the use of a synthetic acceptor bearing an appendix for carrier protein conjugation and the on-column process to a novel chemo-enzymatic strategy. After protein coupling of the size optimized oligosaccharide produced by the one-pot elongation procedure, we obtained a more homogeneous glycoconjugate compared to the one previously described starting from the natural polysaccharide. Mice immunized with the conjugated fully synthetic oligomer elicited functional antibodies comparable to controls immunized with the current benchmark MenX glycoconjugates prepared from the natural capsule polymer or from fragments of it enzymatically elongated. This pathogen-free technology allows the fast total in vitro construction of predefined bacterial polysaccharide fragments. Compared to conventional synthetic protocols, the procedure is more expeditious and drastically reduces the number of purification steps to achieve the oligomers. Furthermore, the presence of a linker for conjugation in the synthetic acceptor minimizes manipulations on the enzymatically produced glycan prior to protein conjugation. This approach enriches the methods for fast construction of complex bacterial carbohydrates
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