Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- NOTCH1 is a transmembrane receptor that initiates a signaling pathway involved in embryonic development of adult tissue homeostasis. The extracellular domain of NOTCH1 is composed largely of epidermal growth factor–like repeats (EGFs), many of which can be O-fucosylated at a specific consensus sequence by protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (POFUT1). O-fucosylation of NOTCH1 is necessary for its function. The Notch pathway is deregulated in many cancers, and alteration of POFUT1 has been reported in several cancers, but further investigation is needed to assess whether there is deregulation of the Notch pathway associated with mutations that affect O-fucosylation in cancers.
- The macrophage mannose receptor (MR, CD206) is a transmembrane endocytic lectin receptor, expressed in selected immune and endothelial cells, and is involved in immunity and maintaining homeostasis. Eight of the ten extracellular domains of the MR are C-type lectin domains (CTLDs) which mediate the binding of mannose, fucose, and GlcNAc in a calcium-dependent manner. Previous studies indicated that self-glycosylation of MR regulates its glycan binding. To further explore this structure–function relationship, we studied herein a recombinant version of mouse MR CTLD4-7 fused to human Fc-portion of IgG (MR-Fc).
- Heparan 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.