Glycobiology and Extracellular Matrices
- Alpha-1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8) synthesizes core fucose in N-glycans, which plays critical roles in various physiological processes. FUT8, as with many other glycosyltransferases, is a type-II membrane protein, and its large C-terminal catalytic domain is linked to the FUT8 stem region, which comprises two α-helices. Although the stem regions of several glycosyltransferases are involved in the regulation of Golgi localization, the functions of the FUT8 stem region have not been clarified as yet.
- The high heterogeneity and mutation rate of cancer cells often lead to the failure of targeted therapy, and therefore, new targets for multitarget therapy of tumors are urgently needed. Aberrantly expressed glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) have been shown to be involved in tumorigenesis and are promising new targets. Recently, the GAG-binding domain rVAR2 of the Plasmodium falciparum VAR2CSA protein was identified as a probe targeting cancer-associated chondroitin sulfate A-like epitopes. In this study, we found that rVAR2 could also bind to heparin (Hep) and chondroitin sulfate E.
- The immune system produces a diverse collection of antiglycan antibodies that are critical for host defense. At present, however, we know very little about the binding properties, origins, and sequences of these antibodies because of a lack of access to a variety of defined individual antibodies. To address this challenge, we used a glycan microarray with over 800 different components to screen a panel of 516 human monoclonal antibodies that had been randomly cloned from different B-cell subsets originating from healthy human subjects.
- Newly synthesized proteins in the secretory pathway, including glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins (GPI-APs), need to be correctly targeted and imported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. GPI-APs are synthesized in the cytosol as preproproteins, which contain an N-terminal signal sequence (SS), mature protein part, and C-terminal GPI-attachment sequence (GPI-AS), and translocated into the ER lumen where SS and GPI-AS are removed, generating mature GPI-APs. However, how various GPI-APs are translocated into the ER lumen in mammalian cells is unclear.