Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
Specificity of a β-porphyranase produced by the carrageenophyte red alga Chondrus crispus and implications of this unexpected activity on red algal biologyThe carrageenophyte red alga Chondrus crispus produces three family 16 glycoside hydrolases (CcGH16-1, CcGH16-2, and CcGH16-3). Phylogenetically, the red algal GH16 members are closely related to bacterial GH16 homologs from subfamilies 13 and 14, which have characterized marine bacterial β-carrageenase and β-porphyranase activities, respectively, yet the functions of these CcGH16 hydrolases have not been determined. Here, we first confirmed the gene locus of the ccgh16-3 gene in the alga to facilitate further investigation.
Glycosyltransferases EXTL2 and EXTL3 cellular balance dictates heparan sulfate biosynthesis and shapes gastric cancer cell motility and invasionHeparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans (HSPGs) are abundant glycoconjugates in cells’ glycocalyx and extracellular matrix. By acting as scaffolds for protein–protein interactions, HSPGs modulate extracellular ligand gradients, cell signaling networks, and cell–extracellular matrix crosstalk. Aberrant expression of HSPGs and enzymes involved in HSPG biosynthesis and processing has been reported in tumors, with impact in cancer cell behavior and tumor microenvironment properties. However, the roles of specific glycosyltransferases in the deregulated biosynthesis of HSPGs are not fully understood.
O-fucosylation stabilizes the TSR3 motif in thrombospondin-1 by interacting with nearby amino acids and protecting a disulfide bondThrombospondin type-1 repeats (TSRs) are small protein motifs containing six conserved cysteines forming three disulfide bonds that can be modified with an O-linked fucose. Protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2) catalyzes the addition of O-fucose to TSRs containing the appropriate consensus sequence, and the O-fucose modification can be elongated to a Glucose-Fucose disaccharide with the addition of glucose by β3-glucosyltransferase (B3GLCT). Elimination of Pofut2 in mice results in embryonic lethality in mice, highlighting the biological significance of O-fucose modification on TSRs.
Heparan sulfate is necessary for the early formation of nascent fibronectin and collagen I fibrils at matrix assembly sitesFibronectin (FN), an essential component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), is assembled via a cell-mediated process in which integrin receptors bind secreted FN and mediate its polymerization into fibrils that extend between cells, ultimately forming an insoluble matrix. Our previous work using mutant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells identified the glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate (HS) and its binding to FN as essential for the formation of insoluble FN fibrils. In this study, we investigated the contributions of HS at an early stage of the assembly process using knockdown of exostosin-1 (EXT1), one of the glycosyltransferases required for HS chain synthesis.
Post-translational regulation and proteolytic activity of the metalloproteinase ADAMTS8A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type 1 motifs (ADAMTS)8 is a secreted protease, which was recently implicated in pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the substrate repertoire of ADAMTS8 and regulation of its activity are incompletely understood. Although considered a proteoglycanase because of high sequence similarity and close phylogenetic relationship to the proteoglycan-degrading proteases ADAMTS1, 4, 5, and 15, as well as tight genetic linkage with ADAMTS15 on human chromosome 11, its aggrecanase activity was reportedly weak.
Mitochondrial respiratory chain function promotes extracellular matrix integrity in cartilageEnergy metabolism and extracellular matrix (ECM) function together orchestrate and maintain tissue organization, but crosstalk between these processes is poorly understood. Here, we used single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) analysis to uncover the importance of the mitochondrial respiratory chain for ECM homeostasis in mature cartilage. This tissue produces large amounts of a specialized ECM to promote skeletal growth during development and maintain mobility throughout life. A combined approach of high-resolution scRNA-Seq, mass spectrometry/matrisome analysis, and atomic force microscopy was applied to mutant mice with cartilage-specific inactivation of respiratory chain function.
POGLUT2 and POGLUT3 O-glucosylate multiple EGF repeats in fibrillin-1, -2, and LTBP1 and promote secretion of fibrillin-1Fibrillin-1 (FBN1) is the major component of extracellular matrix microfibrils, which are required for proper development of elastic tissues, including the heart and lungs. Through protein–protein interactions with latent transforming growth factor (TGF) β-binding protein 1 (LTBP1), microfibrils regulate TGF-β signaling. Mutations within the 47 epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats of FBN1 cause autosomal dominant disorders including Marfan Syndrome, which is characterized by disrupted TGF-β signaling.
Peters plus syndrome mutations affect the function and stability of human β1,3-glucosyltransferasePeters Plus Syndrome (PTRPLS OMIM # 261540 ) is a severe congenital disorder of glycosylation where patients have multiple structural anomalies, including Peters anomaly of the eye (anterior segment dysgenesis), disproportionate short stature, brachydactyly, dysmorphic facial features, developmental delay, and variable additional abnormalities. PTRPLS patients and some Peters Plus-like (PTRPLS-like) patients (who only have a subset of PTRPLS phenotypes) have mutations in the gene encoding β1,3-glucosyltransferase (B3GLCT).
The dipeptide prolyl-hydroxyproline promotes cellular homeostasis and lamellipodia-driven motility via active β1-integrin in adult tendon cellsCollagen-derived hydroxyproline (Hyp)-containing peptides have a variety of biological effects on cells. These bioactive collagen peptides are locally generated by the degradation of endogenous collagen in response to injury. However, no comprehensive study has yet explored the functional links between Hyp-containing peptides and cellular behavior. Here, we show that the dipeptide prolyl-4-hydroxyproline (Pro-Hyp) exhibits pronounced effects on mouse tendon cells. Pro-Hyp promotes differentiation/maturation of tendon cells with modulation of lineage-specific factors and induces significant chemotactic activity in vitro.
Glycosyltransferase POMGNT1 deficiency strengthens N-cadherin-mediated cell–cell adhesionDefects in protein O-mannosylation lead to severe congenital muscular dystrophies collectively known as α-dystroglycanopathy. A hallmark of these diseases is the loss of the O-mannose-bound matriglycan on α-dystroglycan, which reduces cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. Mutations in protein O-mannose β1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 (POMGNT1), which is crucial for the elongation of O-mannosyl glycans, have mainly been associated with muscle–eye–brain (MEB) disease. In addition to defects in cell–extracellular matrix adhesion, aberrant cell–cell adhesion has occasionally been observed in response to defects in POMGNT1.
A repeated triple lysine motif anchors complexes containing bone sialoprotein and the type XI collagen A1 chain involved in bone mineralizationWhile details remain unclear, initiation of woven bone mineralization is believed to be mediated by collagen and potentially nucleated by bone sialoprotein (BSP). Interestingly, our recent publication showed that BSP and type XI collagen form complexes in mineralizing osteoblastic cultures. To learn more, we examined the protein composition of extracellular sites of de novo hydroxyapatite deposition which were enriched in BSP and Col11a1 containing an alternatively spliced “6b” exonal sequence. An alternate splice variant “6a” sequence was not similarly co-localized.
Type I and type V procollagen triple helix uses different subsets of the molecular ensemble for lysine posttranslational modifications in the rERCollagen is the most abundant protein in humans. It has a characteristic triple-helix structure and is heavily posttranslationally modified. The complex biosynthesis of collagen involves processing by many enzymes and chaperones in the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Lysyl hydroxylase 1 (LH1) is required to hydroxylate lysine for cross-linking and carbohydrate attachment within collagen triple helical sequences. Additionally, a recent study of prolyl 3-hydroxylase 3 (P3H3) demonstrated that this enzyme may be critical for LH1 activity; however, the details surrounding its involvement remain unclear.
The cell surface hyaluronidase TMEM2 regulates cell adhesion and migration via degradation of hyaluronan at focal adhesion sitesThe extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in maintaining tissue homeostasis and poses a significant physical barrier to in vivo cell migration. Accordingly, as a means of enhancing tissue invasion, tumor cells use matrix metalloproteinases to degrade ECM proteins. However, the in vivo ECM is comprised not only of proteins but also of a variety of nonprotein components. Hyaluronan (HA), one of the most abundant nonprotein components of the interstitial ECM, forms a gel-like antiadhesive barrier that is impenetrable to particulate matter and cells.
Macrophages bind LDL using heparan sulfate and the perlecan protein coreThe retention of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a key process in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and largely mediated via smooth-muscle cell-derived extracellular proteoglycans including the glycosaminoglycan chains. Macrophages can also internalize lipids via complexes with proteoglycans. However, the role of polarized macrophage-derived proteoglycans in binding LDL is unknown and important to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We therefore examined the identity of proteoglycans, including the pendent glycosaminoglycans, produced by polarized macrophages to gain insight into the molecular basis for LDL binding.
Collagen IVα345 dysfunction in glomerular basement membrane diseases. I. Discovery of a COL4A3 variant in familial Goodpasture’s and Alport diseasesDiseases of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), such as Goodpasture’s disease (GP) and Alport syndrome (AS), are a major cause of chronic kidney failure and an unmet medical need. Collagen IVα345 is an important architectural element of the GBM that was discovered in previous research on GP and AS. How this collagen enables GBM to function as a permselective filter and how structural defects cause renal failure remain an enigma. We found a distinctive genetic variant of collagen IVα345 in both a familial GP case and four AS kindreds that provided insights into these mechanisms.
Collagen IVα345 dysfunction in glomerular basement membrane diseases. II. Crystal structure of the α345 hexamerOur recent work identified a genetic variant of the α345 hexamer of the collagen IV scaffold that is present in patients with glomerular basement membrane diseases, Goodpasture’s disease (GP) and Alport syndrome (AS), and phenocopies of AS in knock-in mice. To understand the context of this “Zurich” variant, an 8-amino acid appendage, we developed a construct of the WT α345 hexamer using the single-chain NC1 trimer technology, which allowed us to solve a crystal structure of this key connection module.
Angiostatic cues from the matrix: Endothelial cell autophagy meets hyaluronan biologyThe extracellular matrix encompasses a reservoir of bioactive macromolecules that modulates a cornucopia of biological functions. A prominent body of work posits matrix constituents as master regulators of autophagy and angiogenesis and provides molecular insight into how these two processes are coordinated. Here, we review current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying hyaluronan and HAS2 regulation and the role of soluble proteoglycan in affecting autophagy and angiogenesis. Specifically, we assess the role of proteoglycan-evoked autophagy in regulating angiogenesis via the HAS2-hyaluronan axis and ATG9A, a novel HAS2 binding partner.
4-Phenylbutyric acid enhances the mineralization of osteogenesis imperfecta iPSC-derived osteoblastsOsteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a heritable brittle bone disease mainly caused by mutations in the two type I collagen genes. Collagen synthesis is a complex process including trimer formation, glycosylation, secretion, extracellular matrix (ECM) formation, and mineralization. Using OI patient-derived fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), we investigated the effect of 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) on collagen synthesis to test its potential as a new treatment for OI. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention of type I collagen was observed by immunofluorescence staining in OI patient-derived fibroblasts with glycine substitution and exon skipping mutations.
Loss of versican and production of hyaluronan in lung epithelial cells are associated with airway inflammation during RSV infectionAirway inflammation is a critical feature of lower respiratory tract infections caused by viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). A growing body of literature has demonstrated the importance of extracellular matrix changes such as the accumulation of hyaluronan (HA) and versican in the subepithelial space in promoting airway inflammation; however, whether these factors contribute to airway inflammation during RSV infection remains unknown. To test the hypothesis that RSV infection promotes inflammation via altered HA and versican production, we studied an ex vivo human bronchial epithelial cell (BEC)/human lung fibroblast (HLF) coculture model.
O-Fucosylation of ADAMTSL2 is required for secretion and is impacted by geleophysic dysplasia-causing mutationsADAMTSL2 mutations cause an autosomal recessive connective tissue disorder, geleophysic dysplasia 1 (GPHYSD1), which is characterized by short stature, small hands and feet, and cardiac defects. ADAMTSL2 is a matricellular protein previously shown to interact with latent transforming growth factor-β binding protein 1 and influence assembly of fibrillin 1 microfibrils. ADAMTSL2 contains seven thrombospondin type-1 repeats (TSRs), six of which contain the consensus sequence for O-fucosylation by protein O-fucosyltransferase 2 (POFUT2).
Presence of hyaluronan in lung alveoli in severe Covid-19: An opening for new treatment options?Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is characterized by inflammation of the lungs with increasing respiratory impairment. In fatal Covid-19, lungs at autopsy have been filled with a clear liquid jelly. However, the nature of this finding has not yet been determined. The aim of the study was to demonstrate whether the lungs of fatal Covid-19 contain hyaluronan, as it is associated with inflammation and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and may have the appearance of liquid jelly. Lung tissue obtained at autopsy from three deceased Covid-19 patients was processed for hyaluronan histochemistry using a direct staining method and compared with staining in normal lung tissue.
Structure of a collagen VI α3 chain VWA domain array: adaptability and functional implications of myopathy causing mutationsCollagen VI is a ubiquitous heterotrimeric protein of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that plays an essential role in the proper maintenance of skeletal muscle. Mutations in collagen VI lead to a spectrum of congenital myopathies, from the mild Bethlem myopathy to the severe Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy. Collagen VI contains only a short triple helix and consists primarily of von Willebrand factor type A (VWA) domains, protein–protein interaction modules found in a range of ECM proteins.
Cell-specific expression of the transcriptional regulator RHAMM provides a timing mechanism that controls appropriate wound re-epithelializationPrevention of aberrant cutaneous wound repair and appropriate regeneration of an intact and functional integument require the coordinated timing of fibroblast and keratinocyte migration. Here, we identified a mechanism whereby opposing cell-specific motogenic functions of a multifunctional intracellular and extracellular protein, the receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility (RHAMM), coordinates fibroblast and keratinocyte migration speed and ensures appropriate timing of excisional wound closure.
Inter-α-inhibitor heavy chain-1 has an integrin-like 3D structure mediating immune regulatory activities and matrix stabilization during ovulationInter-α-inhibitor is a proteoglycan essential for mammalian reproduction and also plays a less well-characterized role in inflammation. It comprises two homologous “heavy chains” (HC1 and HC2) covalently attached to chondroitin sulfate on the bikunin core protein. Before ovulation, HCs are transferred onto the polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) to form covalent HC·HA complexes, thereby stabilizing an extracellular matrix around the oocyte required for fertilization. Additionally, such complexes form during inflammatory processes and mediate leukocyte adhesion in the synovial fluids of arthritis patients and protect against sepsis.
Sirtuin 1 reduces hyaluronan synthase 2 expression by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-κB and expression of the long-noncoding RNA HAS2–AS1Hyaluronan (HA) is one of the most prevalent glycosaminoglycans of the vascular extracellular matrix (ECM). Abnormal HA accumulation within blood vessel walls is associated with tissue inflammation and is prominent in most vascular pathological conditions such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. Hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) is the main hyaluronan synthase enzyme involved in HA synthesis and uses cytosolic UDP-glucuronic acid and UDP-GlcNAc as substrates. The synthesis of UDP-glucuronic acid can alter the NAD+/NADH ratio via the enzyme UDP-glucose dehydrogenase, which oxidizes the alcohol group at C6 to the COO− group.