bims-supasi Biomed News
on Sulfation pathways and signalling
Issue of 2022‒03‒20
thirteen papers selected by
Jonathan Wolf Mueller
University of Birmingham

  1. J Virol. 2022 Mar 14. e0185721
      Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are nonenveloped double-stranded DNA viruses that utilize heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) as initial attachment factors prior to cell entry and infection. While extensively characterized, the selective interaction between HPV and HSPGs is generally studied using standard in vitro conditions, which fail to account for the effects that media additives, such as fetal bovine serum (FBS), can have on viral binding. As environmental conditions and growth factors associated with wound healing are thought to play a role in natural HPV infection, we sought to investigate the effects that serum or platelet extracts could have on the binding and infectivity of HPV. Here, we demonstrate that high concentrations of FBS and human serum greatly inhibit HPV16 binding, and that for FBS, this effect results from the obstruction of cell surface HSPGs by serum-derived heparin-binding proteins (HBPs). Surprisingly, we found that under these conditions, HPV particles utilize 6O-sulfated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) as initial binding receptors prior to infection. These findings were corroborated by small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown experiments, as well as through a cancer cell line screen, where we identified a strong association between viral binding in high serum and the expression of chondroitin sulfate biosynthesis genes. Furthermore, HPV binding in the presence of human platelet lysate also demonstrated an increased dependance on CSPGs, suggesting a possible role for these receptor proteoglycans in active wound healing environments. Overall, this work highlights the significant influence that serum/platelet factors can have on virus binding and identifies CSPGs as alternative cell attachment receptors for HPV. IMPORTANCE Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have previously been identified as primary attachment factors for the initial binding of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) prior to infection. Here, we demonstrate that in vitro, HPV binding to HSPGs is strongly dependent on the surrounding experimental conditions, including the concentration of fetal bovine serum (FBS). We found that high concentrations of FBS can block HSPG-binding sites and cause a dependence on 6O-sulfated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) as alternative initial viral receptors. Further, we demonstrate that use of a human-derived alternative to FBS, human platelet lysate, also occludes HSPG-dependent binding, causing a shift toward CSPGs for viral attachment. As HPV infection of basal epithelial cells is thought to occur at sites of microtrauma with exposure to high serum levels and platelet factors, these unexpected findings highlight a possible role for CSPGs as important cellular receptors for the binding and infectivity of HPV in vivo.
    Keywords:  glycosaminoglycans; papillomavirus; virus-host interactions
  2. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 839887
      Steroid sulfation and desulfation participates in the regulation of steroid bioactivity, metabolism and transport. The authors focused on sulfation and desulfation balance in three neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer´s disease (AD), Parkinson´s disease (PD), and multiple sclerosis (MS). Circulating steroid conjugates dominate their unconjugated counterparts, but unconjugated steroids outweigh their conjugated counterparts in the brain. Apart from the neurosteroid synthesis in the central nervous system (CNS), most brain steroids cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) from the periphery and then may be further metabolized. Therefore, steroid levels in the periphery partly reflect the situation in the brain. The CNS steroids subsequently influence the neuronal excitability and have neuroprotective, neuroexcitatory, antidepressant and memory enhancing effects. They also exert anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective actions. Like the unconjugated steroids, the sulfated ones modulate various ligand-gated ion channels. Conjugation by sulfotransferases increases steroid water solubility and facilitates steroid transport. Steroid sulfates, having greater half-lives than their unconjugated counterparts, also serve as a steroid stock pool. Sulfotransferases are ubiquitous enzymes providing massive steroid sulfation in adrenal zona reticularis and zona fasciculata.. Steroid sulfatase hydrolyzing the steroid conjugates is exceedingly expressed in placenta but is ubiquitous in low amounts including brain capillaries of BBB which can rapidly hydrolyze the steroid sulfates coming across the BBB from the periphery. Lower dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) plasma levels and reduced sulfotransferase activity are considered as risk factors in AD patients. The shifted balance towards unconjugated steroids can participate in the pathophysiology of PD and anti-inflammatory effects of DHEAS may counteract the MS.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson's disease; brain; multiple sclerosis; neuroactive steroids; neurosteroids; steroid sulfatase; steroid sulfotransferases
  3. J Nutr Health Aging. 2022 ;26(3): 307-313
      BACKGROUND: Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is found in humans' cartilage, bone, cornea, skin, and arterial wall. It consists of the foundation substance in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissue. The oral supplement form of CS is clinically used in treating osteoarthritis (OA).METHODS: Cell migration was observed by the transwell assay. The EMT, Akt/IKK/IκB pathways, TIMPs, collagen and MMPs in cell lysate were determined by Western blotting. The expression of MMP activity was determined by gelatin zymography. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was determined by using a fluorescence spectrophotometer.
    RESULTS: In the current report, we demonstrated that CS can increase the cell proliferation and migration of chon-001 chondrocytes. Treatment with CS induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and increased the expression of type II collagen and TIMP-1/TIMP2 and inhibited the expressions and activities of metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). The phosphorylation of Akt, IκB kinase (IKK), IκB and p65 was decreased by CS. CS treatment resulted in β-catenin production and XAV939, a β-catenin inhibitor, and inhibited the cell proliferation by CS treatment. In addition, also significantly induced intracellular ROS generation. Treatment with antioxidant propyl gallate blocked cell migration induced by CS.
    CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that CS induced cell proliferation and migration of chondrocytes by inducing β-catenin and enhancing ROS production. Moreover, our studies demonstrated that CS can increase the activity of chondrocytes and help patients with osteoarthritis to restore cartilage function.
    Keywords:  Akt; Chondroitin sulfate; NF-κB; ROS; metalloproteinases
  4. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 829511
      The study of urinary phase II sulfate metabolites is central to understanding the role and fate of endogenous and exogenous compounds in biological systems. This study describes a new workflow for the untargeted metabolic profiling of sulfated metabolites in a urine matrix. Analysis was performed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS/MS) with data dependent acquisition (DDA) coupled to an automated script-based data processing pipeline and differential metabolite level analysis. Sulfates were identified through k-means clustering analysis of sulfate ester derived MS/MS fragmentation intensities. The utility of the method was highlighted in two applications. Firstly, the urinary metabolome of a thoroughbred horse was examined before and after administration of the anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) testosterone propionate. The analysis detected elevated levels of ten sulfated steroid metabolites, three of which were identified and confirmed by comparison with synthesised reference materials. This included 5α-androstane-3β,17α-diol 3-sulfate, a previously unreported equine metabolite of testosterone propionate. Secondly, the hydrolytic activity of four sulfatase enzymes on pooled human urine was examined. This revealed that Pseudomonas aeruginosa arylsulfatases (PaS) enzymes possessed higher selectivity for the hydrolysis of sulfated metabolites than the commercially available Helix pomatia arylsulfatase (HpS). This novel method provides a rapid tool for the systematic, untargeted metabolic profiling of sulfated metabolites in a urinary matrix.
    Keywords:  anti-doping; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; steroid; sulfatase; sulfate ester; sulfation
  5. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S2211-1247(22)00252-2. [Epub ahead of print]38(11): 110516
      Sulfs represent a class of unconventional sulfatases which provide an original post-synthetic regulatory mechanism for heparan sulfate polysaccharides and are involved in multiple physiopathological processes, including cancer. However, Sulfs remain poorly characterized enzymes, with major discrepancies regarding their in vivo functions. Here we show that human Sulf-2 (HSulf-2) harbors a chondroitin/dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain, attached to the enzyme substrate-binding domain. We demonstrate that this GAG chain affects enzyme/substrate recognition and tunes HSulf-2 activity in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we show that mammalian hyaluronidase acts as a promoter of HSulf-2 activity by digesting its GAG chain. In conclusion, our results highlight HSulf-2 as a proteoglycan-related enzyme and its GAG chain as a critical non-catalytic modulator of the enzyme activity. These findings contribute to clarifying the conflicting data on the activities of the Sulfs.
    Keywords:  enzyme; glycosaminoglycan; post-translational modifications; proteoglycan; sulfatase
  6. Carbohydr Polym. 2022 Jun 01. pii: S0144-8617(22)00154-0. [Epub ahead of print]285 119250
      A pectic polysaccharide (WAP) was isolated from squash and identified as a homogalacturonan with a molecular mass of 83.2 kDa by GPC, monosaccharide composition analysis, FT-IR and NMR spectra. Sulfation modification of WAP was carried out and a sulfated derivative (SWAP) was obtained with a substitution degree of 1.81. The NMR spectrum indicated that the sulfation modification mainly occurred at the C-2 and C-3 positions of galacturonan residues. The binding pattern of SWAP to tau K18 protein was observed in 2D 1H15N HSQC spectra of tau, which resembled the tau-heparin interaction, with R2 domain as the major binding region. These results suggest that SWAP has the potential to act as a heparin mimic to inhibit the transcellular spread of tau; thus natural polysaccharide from squash may be developed into therapies for AD and related tauopathies.
    Keywords:  Binding pattern; Homogalacturonan; Squash; Sulfated polysaccharide; Tau K18 protein
  7. Carbohydr Polym. 2022 Jun 01. pii: S0144-8617(22)00109-6. [Epub ahead of print]285 119205
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss and cognitive impairments. Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition and neurotoxicity play important roles in AD. It has been widely reported that heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans play a nonnegligible role in the release, uptake and misfolding of Aβ, resulting in the discovery of HS as a therapeutic drug for AD. In this manuscript, HS from porcine mucosa could promote Aβ fibrosis and improve the cognitive defects of APPswe/PS1ΔE9 mice. Furthermore, HS enhanced the phagocytosis of neutrophils to clear Aβ1-42 from peripheral circulation, reduced peripheral Aβ1-42 flow to the brain and increased Aβ efflux from the brain. Therefore, the deposition of Aβ plaques in the brain was decreased. In addition, HS alleviated neutrophil infiltration and reduced neuroinflammation. Conclusively, HS is a promising neuroprotective candidate for AD treatment.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Aβ(1–42); Heparan sulfate; Neutrophils phagocytosis; Peripheral clearance
  8. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 824146
      The aggregation of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) is one potential cause for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Heparin can either promote or inhibit Aβ aggregation. The sulfation pattern and chain size determine its binding affinity and its role. Using 2D-NMR analysis and molecular modelling, the binding motif of heparin oligoaccharides to Aβ was determined to be HexA-GlcNS-IdoA2S-GlcNS6S. Iduronic acid epimerization and 6-O-sulfation are key factors for the binding affinity, while 3-O-sulfation of Arixtra (heparin pentasaccharide) is not involved in the binding to Aβ. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) was used to study the glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-peptide complex and identified V12HHQKL17 as the binding site of GAG at Aβ. Furthermore, an MTT assay was applied to evaluate the anti-Aβ fibril formation function of heparin tetrasaccharide, and indicated that the heparin tetrasaccharide with the defined sequence represents a promising inhibitor of Aβ aggregation.
    Keywords:  NMR; heparin; hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry; interaction; β-amyloid peptide
  9. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 Mar 16.
      Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long, linear polysaccharides that are ubiquitously expressed on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix of all animal cells. These complex carbohydrates play important roles in many cellular processes and have been implicated in many disease states, including cancer, inflammation, and genetic disorders. GAGs are among the most complex molecules in biology with enormous information content and extensive structural and functional heterogeneity. GAG biosynthesis is a non-template driven process facilitated by a large group of biosynthetic enzymes that have been extensively characterized over the past few decades. Interestingly, the expression of the enzymes and the consequent structure and function of the polysaccharide chains can vary temporally and spatially during development and under certain pathophysiological conditions, suggesting their assembly is tightly regulated in cells. Due to their many key roles in cell homeostasis and disease, there is much interest in targeting the assembly and function of GAGs as a therapeutic approach. Recent advances in genomics and GAG analytical techniques have pushed the field and generated new perspectives on the regulation of mammalian glycosylation. This review highlights the spatiotemporal diversity of GAGs and the mechanisms guiding their assembly and function in human biology and disease.
    Keywords:  chondroitin sulfate; glycosaminoglycans; heparan sulfate; regulation; transcription factors
  10. Elife. 2022 Mar 14. pii: e69734. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors is a group of malignant small round blue cell tumors (SRBCTs) that affects children, adolescents, and young adults. The tumors are characterized by reciprocal chromosomal translocations that generate chimeric fusion oncogenes, the most common of which is EWSR1-FLI1. Survival is extremely poor for patients with metastatic or relapsed disease, and no molecularly-targeted therapy for this disease currently exists. The absence of a reliable genetic animal model of Ewing sarcoma has impaired investigation of tumor cell/microenvironmental interactions in vivo. We have developed a new genetic model of Ewing sarcoma based on Cre-inducible expression of human EWSR1-FLI1 in wild type zebrafish, which causes rapid onset of SRBCTs at high penetrance. The tumors express canonical EWSR1-FLI1 target genes and stain for known Ewing sarcoma markers including CD99. Growth of tumors is associated with activation of the MAPK/ERK pathway, which we link to dysregulated extracellular matrix metabolism in general and heparan sulfate catabolism in particular. Targeting heparan sulfate proteoglycans with the specific heparan sulfate antagonist Surfen reduces ERK1/2 signaling and decreases tumorigenicity of Ewing sarcoma cells in vitro and in vivo. These results highlight the important role of the extracellular matrix in Ewing sarcoma tumor growth and the potential of agents targeting proteoglycan metabolism as novel therapies for this disease.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; zebrafish
  11. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 827638
      For in vitro investigations on human sulfotransferase (SULT) catalyzed phase II metabolism, the costly cofactor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) is generally needed. In the present study, we developed and optimized a new approach that combines SULT-dependent biotransformation using recombinant and permeabilized fission yeast cells (enzyme bags) with PAPS production in situ applying quality by design principles. In the initial application of the procedure, yeast cells expressing human SULT1A3 were used for the production of 4'-hydroxypropranolol-4-O-sulfate from 4-hydroxypropranolol. The optimized protocol was then successfully transferred to other sulfonation reactions catalyzed by SULT2A1, SULT1E1, or SULT1B1. The concomitant degradation of some sulfoconjugates was investigated, and further optimization of the reaction conditions was performed in order to reduce product loss. Also, the production of stable isotope labelled sulfoconjugates was demonstrated utilizing isotopically labelled substrates or 34S-sulfate. Overall, this new approach results in higher space-time yields while at the same time reducing experimental cost.
    Keywords:  PAPS; SULT; fission yeast; in vitro metabolism; isotopic labelling; method optimization; quality by design; sulfonation
  12. Anal Sci. 2022 Jan;38(1): 167-173
      Simultaneous measurements of the circulating testosterone (TS) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) are deemed to be helpful for the assessment of men's health. Liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) is the most reliable methodology for this purpose; however, it has room for improvement in analysis throughput. In this study, a quadruplicate of the Girard reagents was used to develop an LC/ESI-MS/MS method capable of quantifying TS and DHEAS in four different serum samples in a single run. The four serum samples were separately pretreated, derivatized with one of four Girard reagents, and then combined. The LC/ESI-MS/MS analysis of the combined sample provided the androgen concentrations of four serum samples in parallel. The method had practical measuring ranges, in which good precision and accuracy, as well as negligible matrix effects were verified. The speed-up capability of the developed method was evaluated through the analysis of ten batches of serum samples (total 40 samples); the method saved a 60% post-pretreatment analysis time compared to the non-derivatization method for 40 samples.
    Keywords:  Androgen; Derivatization; Girard reagent; High throughput; LC/ESI–MS/MS; Sample-multiplexing
  13. Eur J Pediatr. 2022 Mar 16.
      We aimed to explore the effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) at age 7 on areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at age 10 and to distinguish the direct and indirect effects (explained by sexual maturity and by aBMD at age 7), for each sex, after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) z-score. In a subsample of 274 children (139 girls, 135 boys) from Generation XXI cohort, aBMD was assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan at ages 7 and 10. The increase in aBMD at age 10 for each 10 µg/dL increase in DHEAS levels at age 7 was estimated using path analysis. Both the direct and the indirect effects were calculated. In girls, higher DHEAS levels at age 7 were associated with higher aBMD at age 10. No direct effect was observed. The indirect effect via higher aBMD at age 7 explained 61% of the total effect, and the indirect effect via higher Tanner stage explained 21%. After adjustment for BMI, the total effect remained statistically significant, explained in 33% by the indirect effect of DHEAS on Tanner stage and Tanner stage on aBMD. In boys, no effect of DHEAS on aBMD was observed.CONCLUSION: An indirect effect of DHEAS at age 7 on aBMD at age 10 was found in girls, but not in boys, as higher DHEAS levels were associated with more advanced sexual maturation at age 10, and more advanced sexual maturation to higher aBMD. No direct effect of DHEAS on aBMD was observed.
    WHAT IS KNOWN: • Conditions associated with elevated DHEAS, adrenarche's biomarker, are accompanied by advanced bone maturity. • Whether adrenal androgens influence bone mineralization in childhood remains puzzling, and longitudinal data is scarce.
    WHAT IS NEW: • In girls, but not in boys, higher DHEAS at age 7 was associated with higher aBMD at age 10. • This was partially explained by the indirect effect of DHEAS at age 7 on sexual maturity at age 10, as DHEAS at age 7 was positively associated with sexual maturity at age 10, which was further associated with aBMD.
    Keywords:  Adrenarche; Areal bone mineral density; Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate; Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; Generation XXI