Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- Mammalian Asn-linked glycans are extensively processed as they transit the secretory pathway to generate diverse glycans on cell surface and secreted glycoproteins. Additional modification of the glycan core by α-1,6-fucose addition to the innermost GlcNAc residue (core fucosylation) is catalyzed by an α-1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8). The importance of core fucosylation can be seen in the complex pathological phenotypes of FUT8 null mice, which display defects in cellular signaling, development, and subsequent neonatal lethality.
- Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus, GBS) is a leading cause of invasive bacterial infections in newborns, typically acquired vertically during childbirth secondary to maternal vaginal colonization. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) have important nutritional and biological activities that guide the development of the immune system of the infant and shape the composition of normal gut microbiota. In this manner, HMOs help protect against pathogen colonization and reduce the risk of infection.
- Disruption of the O-mannosylation pathway involved in functional glycosylation of α-dystroglycan gives rise to congenital muscular dystrophies. Protein O-linked mannose β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 2 (POMGNT2) catalyzes the first step toward the functional matriglycan structure on α-dystroglycan that is responsible for binding extracellular matrix proteins and certain arenaviruses. Alternatively, protein O-linked mannose β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 (POMGNT1) catalyzes the first step toward other various glycan structures present on α-dystroglycan of unknown function.