bims-supasi Biomed News
on Sulfation pathways and signalling
Issue of 2024‒01‒14
fifteen papers selected by
Jonathan Wolf Mueller, University of Birmingham

  1. bioRxiv. 2023 Dec 21. pii: 2023.12.20.572603. [Epub ahead of print]
      Human extracellular 6- O -endosulfatases Sulf-1 and Sulf-2 are the only enzymes that post-synthetically alter the 6- O sulfation of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG), which regulates interactions of HSPG with many proteins. Oncogenicity of Sulf-2 in different cancers has been documented and we have shown that Sulf-2 is associated with poor survival outcomes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In spite of its importance, limited information is available on direct protein-protein interactions of the Sulf-2 protein in the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we used monoclonal antibody (mAb) affinity purification and mass spectrometry to identify galectin-3-binding protein (LG3BP) as a highly specific binding partner of Sulf-2 in the secretome of HNSCC cell lines. We validated their direct interaction in vitro using recombinant proteins and have shown that the chondroitin sulfate (CS) covalently bound to the Sulf-2 influences the binding to LG3BP. We confirmed importance of the CS chain for the interaction by generating a mutant Sulf-2 protein that lacks the CS. Importantly, we have shown that the LG3BP inhibits Sulf-2 activity in vitro in a concentration dependent manner. As a consequence, the addition of LG3BP to a spheroid cell culture inhibited invasion of the HNSCC cells into Matrigel. Thus, Sulf-2 interaction with LG3BP has functional relevance, and may regulate physiological activity of the Sulf-2 enzyme as well as its activity in the tumor microenvironment.
  2. Int J Biol Macromol. 2024 Jan 09. pii: S0141-8130(24)00072-2. [Epub ahead of print] 129269
      Marine sulfated polysaccharide (MSP) is a natural high molecular polysaccharide containing sulfate groups, which widely exists in various marine organisms. The sources determine structural variabilities of MSPs which have high security and wide biological activities, such as anticoagulation, antitumor, antivirus, immune regulation, regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, antioxidant, etc. Due to the structural similarities between MSP and endogenous heparan sulfate, a majority of studies have shown that MSP can be used to treat diabetic nephropathy (DN) in vivo and in vitro. In this paper, we reviewed the anti-DN activities, the dominant mechanisms and structure-activity relationship of MSPs in order to provide the overall scene of MSPs as a modality of treating DN.
    Keywords:  Diabetic nephropathy; Marine sulfated polysaccharide; Mechanisms; Structure-activity relationship
  3. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Dec 22. pii: S1570-0232(23)00391-4. [Epub ahead of print]1233 123981
      Protein tyrosine sulfation is a post-translational modification (PTM) that is rarely reported in recombinant therapeutic proteins. However, when sulfation does occur, the additional negative charge from the modification can influence intermolecular interactions and antigen-binding activity, making it a critical quality attribute that necessitates stringent control. In this study, we developed a unique hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) method for the separation and quantification of a therapeutic bispecific antibody with varying degrees of sulfation. Despite the increased surface hydrophilicity of sulfated species, the HIC method provides enhanced retention. Baseline resolution was attained based on the degree of sulfation, independent of other PTMs such as C-terminal amidation and forced deamidation. Further structure-function relationship studies of enriched sulfated bispecific antibody species were conducted using mass spectrometry and fluorescence-linked immunosorbent assay (FLISA). These studies revealed that the tyrosine sulfation modification, which occurs in the complementarity-determining region (CDR), is a critical quality attribute and can adversely impact the antibody's binding to its cognate antigen. The evaluation of sulfation assay using HIC method confirmed it is an effective means for controlling this critical quality attribute.
    Keywords:  Hydrophobic interaction chromatography; Mass Spectrometry; Protein tyrosine sulfation; Structure-function relationship
  4. J Chromatogr A. 2023 Dec 20. pii: S0021-9673(23)00822-1. [Epub ahead of print]1715 464597
      Ion mobility (IM) separations, especially when combined with mass spectrometry, offer the opportunity for the rapid analysis and characterization of mixtures. However, the limited resolution afforded by many IM systems means that in practice applications may be limited. Here we have employed an IM separation on a high-resolution cyclic IM device with MS/MS to separate and characterize mixtures of sulfated isomers of tyrosine and associated metabolites containing multiple sulfated isoforms present in reaction mixtures. The cIMS device allowed ions, not resolved using a single pass, to be subjected to multiple passes, enabling the resolution of those with similar collision cross sections (CCS). Predicted single pass CCS values calculated for the isomers likely to be present in these mixtures showed only small differences between them, ranging between of between 0.1 - 0.7 % depending on structure. These small differences highlight the high degree of mobility resolution required for separating the isomers. Experimentally different isoforms of tyrosine sulfate and sulfated tyrosine metabolites could be sufficiently resolved via multipass separations (3-35 passes). This degree of separation provided resolving powers of up to 384 CCS/ΔCCS for sulfated dopamine which enabled good MS/MS spectra to be generated. In human urine the presence of a single sulfated form of tyrosine was detected and identified as the O-sulfate after 3 passes based on the synthetic standard. Of the other tyrosine-related sulfates for which synthetic standards had been prepared only dopamine sulfate was detected in this sample.
    Keywords:  Human urine; Ion mobility separations; Reaction mixtures; Tyrosine sulfates
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jan 04. pii: 677. [Epub ahead of print]25(1):
      Highly sulfated malto-oligomers, similar to heparin and heparan-sulfate, have good antiviral, antimetastatic, anti-inflammatory and cell growth inhibitory effects. Due to their broad biological activities and simple structure, sulfated malto-oligomer derivatives have a great therapeutic potential, therefore, the development of efficient synthesis methods for their production is of utmost importance. In this work, preparation of α-(1→4)-linked oligoglucosides containing a sulfonatomethyl moiety at position C-6 of each glucose unit was studied by different approaches. Malto-oligomeric sulfonic acid derivatives up to dodecasaccharides were prepared by polymerization using different protecting groups, and the composition of the product mixtures was analyzed by MALDI-MS methods and size-exclusion chromatography. Synthesis of lower oligomers was also accomplished by stepwise and block synthetic methods, and then the oligosaccharide products were persulfated. The antiviral, anti-inflammatory and cell growth inhibitory activity of the fully sulfated malto-oligosaccharide sulfonic acids were determined by in vitro tests. Four tested di- and trisaccharide sulfonic acids effectively inhibited the activation of the TNF-α-mediated inflammatory pathway without showing cytotoxicity.
    Keywords:  anti-inflammatory effect; glycosylation; malto-oligomers; polymerization; sulfonic acid
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Jan 16. 121(3): e2316733121
      The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program is crucial for transforming carcinoma cells into a partially mesenchymal state, enhancing their chemoresistance, migration, and metastasis. This shift in cell state is tightly regulated by cellular mechanisms that are not yet fully characterized. One intriguing EMT aspect is the rewiring of the proteoglycan landscape, particularly the induction of heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) biosynthesis. This proteoglycan functions as a co-receptor that accelerates cancer-associated signaling pathways through its negatively-charged residues. However, the precise mechanisms through which EMT governs HSPG biosynthesis and its role in cancer cell plasticity remain elusive. Here, we identified exostosin glycosyltransferase 1 (EXT1), a central enzyme in HSPG biosynthesis, to be selectively upregulated in aggressive tumor subtypes and cancer cell lines, and to function as a key player in breast cancer aggressiveness. Notably, ectopic expression of EXT1 in epithelial cells is sufficient to induce HSPG levels and the expression of known mesenchymal markers, subsequently enhancing EMT features, including cell migration, invasion, and tumor formation. Additionally, EXT1 loss in MDA-MB-231 cells inhibits their aggressiveness-associated traits such as migration, chemoresistance, tumor formation, and metastasis. Our findings reveal that EXT1, through its role in HSPG biosynthesis, governs signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling, a known regulator of cancer cell aggressiveness. Collectively, we present the EXT1/HSPG/STAT3 axis as a central regulator of cancer cell plasticity that directly links proteoglycan synthesis to oncogenic signaling pathways.
    Keywords:  STAT3 signaling; breast cancer; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; exostosin glycosyltransferase 1; heparan sulfate
  7. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Dec 22. pii: 218. [Epub ahead of print]25(1):
      Sulfated polysaccharides of brown algae, fucoidans, are known for their anticoagulant properties, similar to animal heparin. Their complex and irregular structure is the main bottleneck in standardization and in defining the relationship between their structure and bioactivity. Fucoidan-active enzymes can be effective tools to overcome these problems. In the present work, we identified the gene fwf5 encoding the fucoidan-active endo-fucanase of the GH168 family in the marine bacterium Wenyingzhuangia fucanilytica CZ1127T. The biochemical characteristics of the recombinant fucanase FWf5 were investigated. Fucanase FWf5 was shown to catalyze the endo-type cleavage of the 1→4-O-glycosidic linkages between 2-O-sulfated α-L-fucose residues in fucoidans composed of the alternating 1→3- and 1→4-linked residues of sulfated α-L-fucose. This is the first report on the endo-1→4-α-L-fucanases (EC of the GH168 family. The endo-fucanase FWf5 was used to selectively produce high- and low-molecular-weight fucoidan derivatives containing either regular alternating 2-O- and 2,4-di-O-sulfation or regular 2-O-sulfation. The polymeric 2,4-di-O-sulfated fucoidan derivative was shown to have significantly greater in vitro anticoagulant properties than 2-O-sulfated derivatives. The results have demonstrated a new type specificity among fucanases of the GH168 family and the prospects of using such enzymes to obtain standard fucoidan preparations with regular sulfation and high anticoagulant properties.
    Keywords:  Fucus evanescens; GH168 family; anticoagulant activity; fucoidan derivatives; fucoidan-degrading gene cluster; fucoidanase; recombinant fucanase; sulfation pattern
  8. Anal Methods. 2024 Jan 08.
      Chondroitin sulphate (CS) and dermatan sulphate are negatively charged linear heteropolysaccharides. These glycosaminoglycans (GAG) are involved in cellular signalling via binding to growth factors. CS is expressed in a range of tissue and biological fluids and is highly expressed in the placenta. There is evidence that decorin; a CS proteoglycan is significantly decreased in pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. It is considered that GAG chain composition may influence cellular processes that are altered in pre-eclampsia. The goal of the present study was to develop an LC-MS method with precolumn procainamide labelling for the disaccharide compositional analysis of CS. The method was used to investigate whether the disaccharide composition of placenta-extracted CS is altered in pre-eclampsia. The study revealed differential disaccharide compositions of placental chondroitin sulphate between pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy conditions. This suggests that the method may have diagnostic potential for pregnancy disorders. Furthermore, the findings suggest that CS sulphation might play a significant role in maternal labour.
  9. Small. 2024 Jan 07. e2307901
      Cardiovascular disease is the cause of death in ≈50% of hemodialysis patients. Accumulation of uremic solutes in systemic circulation is thought to be a key driver of the endothelial dysfunction that underlies elevated cardiovascular events. A challenge in understanding the mechanisms relating chronic kidney disease to cardiovascular disease is the lack of in vitro models that allow screening of the effects of the uremic environment on the endothelium. Here, a method is described for microfabrication of human blood vessels from donor cells and perfused with donor serum. The resulting donor-derived microvessels are used to quantify vascular permeability, a hallmark of endothelial dysfunction, in response to serum spiked with pathophysiological levels of indoxyl sulfate, and in response to serum from patients with chronic kidney disease and from uremic pigs. The uremic environment has pronounced effects on microvascular integrity as demonstrated by irregular cell-cell junctions and increased permeability in comparison to cell culture media and healthy serum. Moreover, the engineered microvessels demonstrate an increase in sensitivity compared to traditional 2D assays. Thus, the devices and the methods presented here have the potential to be utilized to risk stratify and to direct personalized treatments for patients with chronic kidney disease.
    Keywords:  blood-derived endothelial cell; cardiovascular; chronic kidney disease; indoxyl sulfate; microfluidics; organs-on-chip; uremic toxin
  10. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2024 Jan 08. 1-37
      This critical review examines evidence for beneficial effects of quercetin phase-2 conjugates from clinical intervention studies, volunteer feeding trials, and in vitro work. Plasma concentrations of quercetin-3-O-glucuronide (Q3G) and 3'-methylquercetin-3-O-glucuronide (3'MQ3G) after supplementation may produce beneficial effects in macrophages and endothelial cells, respectively, especially if endogenous deglucuronidation occurs, and lower blood uric acid concentration via quercetin-3'-O-sulfate (Q3'S). Unsupplemented diets produce much lower concentrations (<50 nmol/l) rarely investigated in vitro. At 10 nmol/l, Q3'S and Q3G stimulate or suppress, respectively, angiogenesis in endothelial cells. Statistically significant effects have been reported at 100 nmol/l in breast cancer cells (Q3G), primary neuron cultures (Q3G), lymphocytes (Q3G and3'MQ3G) and HUVECs (QG/QS mixture), but it is unclear whether these translate to a health benefit in vivo. More sensitive and more precise methods to measure clinically significant endpoints are required before a conclusion can be drawn regarding effects at normal dietary concentrations. Future requirements include better understanding of inter-individual and temporal variation in plasma quercetin phase-2 conjugates, their mechanisms of action including deglucuronidation and desulfation both in vitro and in vivo, tissue accumulation and washout, as well as potential for synergy or antagonism with other quercetin metabolites and metabolites of other dietary phytochemicals.
    Keywords:  Quercetin; endothelial function; flavonoid; glucuronide; sulfate
  11. Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2023 Nov;7(8): 102257
      Background: Anti-Xa assays are used for unfractionated heparin (UFH) monitoring. Dextran sulfate (DS) is used in some assays to overcome the artifactual preanalytical release of platelet factor 4. However, the practical implications of this test modification have not been studied extensively.Objectives: To investigate the impact of the presence of DS in the anti-Xa assay for UFH laboratory monitoring.
    Methods: We studied factor Xa inhibition, using an assay without DS (Stago Liquid Anti-Xa), in normal pool plasma spiked with various concentrations of UFH (up to 1 IU/mL) in the presence of increasing concentrations of DS (up to 2560 μg/mL). We also investigated the effect of DS on FXa inhibition measured after the addition of UFH and heparin antagonists (protamine and Polybrene; Sigma Aldrich). Eventually, we compared the anti-Xa levels measured using the assay without DS to those measured with an assay containing DS (BIOPHEN Heparin LRT, Hyphen BioMed).
    Results: DS per se had a detectable anti-Xa effect. FXa inhibition in UFH-spiked plasma linearly increased with increasing concentrations of added DS, with a plateau at approximately 160 μg/mL DS, at which the apparent anti-Xa level had almost doubled. In the presence of heparin antagonists, the addition of DS increased anti-Xa levels, corresponding to the dissociation of the UFH-antagonists complexes in vitro. With the anti-Xa assay containing DS, UFH inhibition was not detected.
    Conclusion: In the presence of high concentrations of DS, FXa inhibition was much higher than that predicted from added UFH amounts, presumably related to the greater availability of UFH for interaction with antithrombin. While the relevance of measuring this "masked" heparin has not been demonstrated, the presence of DS renders the result inaccurate in the presence of protamine or Polybrene.
    Keywords:  anti-Xa; dextran; heparin; polybrene; protamine; unfractionated heparin
  12. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2024 Mar;37 101609
      Background: High-molecular weight heparin (HMWH), a molecule extensively used as an anticoagulant, shows concentration-dependent angiogenic and anti-angiogenic potential. So far, no studies have reported the interactive potential of HMWH with various pro-angiogenic growth factors under physiological conditions. Haence, we aimed to find the impact of major pro-angiogenic growth factors under HMWH induced angiogenesis.Methods: Chicken Chorioallantoic Membranes (CAMs) are incubated with various concentrations of HMWH. Semiquantitative PCR method was implemented to measure the changes in the transcription level of pro-angiogenic growth factors. The scanning electron microscopic technique is applied to find the morphological changes in CAM. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies using NAMD and CHARMM force field discerned the heparin-binding mode with the pro-angiogenic growth factors.
    Results: HMWH can enhance the transcription level of major pro-angiogenic growth factors, significantly impacting FGF2 under 100 μM concentration. The in-silico analysis reveals that HMWH shows the highest binding affinity with FGF2. Further, molecular dynamics and interaction studies using 1 kDa Heparin against FGF2 showed that the former binds stably with the latter due to a strong salt bridge formation between the sulfate groups and arginine residues (ARG 119 and ARG109).
    Conclusion: The combined experimental and in-silico analysis results reveal that HMWH can interact with pro-angiogenic growth factors under micromolar concentration while inducing angiogenesis. This observation further supports the therapeutic benefits of HMWH as an angiogenic factor under such low concentration. This technique is used to replenish the blood supply to chronic wounds to speed healing and prevent unnecessary amputations.
    Keywords:  Angiogenesis; FGF2; Fibroblast growth factor; HMWH; High-molecular weight heparin; Matrix metalloproteinase 2- MMP2; Molecular docking; Molecular dynamics
  13. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2024 Jan 12.
      OBJECTIVES: Current LC-MS/MS applications for circulating androgen measurements are technically diverse. Previously, variable results have been reported for testosterone. Data are scarce for androstenedione and absent for DHEAS. We assessed the agreement of androstenedione, DHEAS and testosterone LC-MS/MS measurements among nine European centers and explored benefits of calibration system unification.METHODS: Androgens were measured twice by laboratory-specific procedures in 78 patient samples and in EQA materials. Results were obtained by in-house and external calibration. Intra- and inter-laboratory performances were valued.
    RESULTS: Intra-laboratory CVs ranged between 4.2-13.2 % for androstenedione, 1.6-10.8 % for DHEAS, and 4.3-8.7 % and 2.6-7.1 % for female and male testosterone, respectively. Bias and trueness in EQA materials were within ±20 %. Median inter-laboratory CV with in-house vs. external calibration were 12.0 vs. 9.6 % for androstenedione (p<0.001), 7.2 vs. 4.9 % for DHEAS (p<0.001), 6.4 vs. 7.6 % for female testosterone (p<0.001) and 6.8 and 7.4 % for male testosterone (p=0.111). Median bias vs. all laboratory median with in-house and external calibration were -13.3 to 20.5 % and -4.9 to 18.7 % for androstenedione, -10.9 to 4.8 % and -3.4 to 3.5 % for DHEAS, -2.7 to 6.5 % and -11.3 to 6.6 % for testosterone in females, and -7.0 to 8.5 % and -7.5 to 11.8 % for testosterone in males, respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: Methods showed high intra-laboratory precision but variable bias and trueness. Inter-laboratory agreement was remarkably good. Calibration system unification improved agreement in androstenedione and DHEAS, but not in testosterone measurements. Multiple components, such as commutability of calibrators and EQA materials and internal standard choices, likely contribute to inter-laboratory variability.
    Keywords:  androstenedione; dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate; harmonization; inter-laboratory performance; liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry; testosterone
  14. Med Chem. 2024 Jan 08.
      BACKGROUND: Heparins are sulfated glycosaminoglycans that are used as anticoagulants to treat thrombosis. Heparins exhibit other potential therapeutic effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-malarial effects. However, the strong anticoagulant activity of heparins poses a risk of life-threatening bleeding, limiting their therapeutic use for other diseases beyond thrombosis. To exploit the other effects of heparins and eliminate the bleeding risk, we explored an alternative polymer called lignosulfonic acid sodium (LSAS), which acts as a sulfonated heparin mimetic. LSAS targets factor XIa to exert an anticoagulant effect, and thus, unlike heparins, it is unlikely to cause bleeding.METHODS: This study investigated the multiple effects of LSAS to identify potential leads for complex pathologies treatment. A series of chromogenic substrate hydrolysis assays were used to evaluate the inhibition of three inflammation-related proteases by LSAS. Its chemical antioxidant activity against the system of ABTS/hydrogen peroxide/metmyoglobin was also determined. Lastly, the effect of LSAS on TNFα-induced activation of the NF-κB pathway in HEK-293 cells was also tested to determine its cellular anti-inflammatory activity.
    RESULTS: The results showed that LSAS effectively inhibited human neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G, and plasmin, with IC50 values ranging from 0.73 to 212.5 µg/mL. Additionally, LSAS demonstrated a significant chemical antioxidant effect, with an IC50 value of 44.1 µg/mL. Furthermore, at a concentration of approximately 530 µg/mL, LSAS inhibited the TNFα-induced activation of the NF-κB pathway in HEK-293 cells, indicating a substantial anti-inflammatory effect. An essential advantage of LSAS is its high water solubility and virtual non-toxicity, making it a safe and readily available polymer.
    CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, LSAS is put forward as a polymeric heparin mimetic with multiple functions, serving as a potential platform for developing novel therapeutics to treat complex pathologies.
    Keywords:  LSAS; anti-inflammatory; anti-oxidative; anti-protease; cathepsin G; heparin mimetic; lignosulfonic acid; neutrophil elastase; plasmin
  15. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2024 Jan 02. pii: S0731-7085(23)00727-6. [Epub ahead of print]240 115958
      LC-MS serves as a workhorse for chemical profile characterization of Chinese medicinal materials (CMMs) attributing to the ability of measuring fruitful MS/MS spectral information. However, it is laborious to extract the information belonging to the compounds-of-interest from the massive data matrixes even employing those well-defined post-acquisition data processing strategies. Here, efforts were devoted to propose an integrated strategy allowing rapid chemical homologs-focused data filtering through integrating the fit-for-purpose existing strategies, such as molecular weight imprinting (MWI), diagnostic fragment ion filtering (DFIF), neutral loss filtering (NLF), and isotope pattern filtering (IPF). Homologs-focused chemical characterization of a precious CMM namely Toad gall-bladder (Chinese name: Chandan) that is rich of diverse effective steroid sulfates, particularly bufogenin sulfates, bile acid sulfates and bilichol sulfates, was employed as a proof-of-concept. Recombinant human SULT2A1-catalyzed in vitro metabolism was undertaken to generate eight bufogenin sulfates to facilitate summarizing MS/MS spectral behaviors. After in-house data library construction and MS1 and MS2 spectral acquisition, data filtering was conducted as follows: 1) MWI and IPF was utilized in combination to capture deprotonated molecular ions and the 34S isotopic ions for the sulfates of those reported steroids; 2) m/z 79.9568 (SO3-·) and 96.9596 (HSO4-) were applied to DFIF; and 3) SO3 (79.9568 Da) served as the feature to achieve NLF. Those captured MS/MS information subsequently participated in tentatively structural annotation through applying those empirical mass fragmentation rules. As a result, 71 compounds including 7 bufogenin sulfates, 17 bile acid sulfates, 13 bilichol sulfates and a C-23 steroid sulfate were detected from Toad gall-bladder and thereof, 39 ones received plausible identities assignment. Above all, the steroid sulfates in Toad gall-bladder were profiled in depth, and more importantly, the proposed strategy should be a meaningful option for, but not limited to, submetabolome characterization in CMMs.
    Keywords:  (34)S isotopically molecular ion; Bilichol sulfate; Post-acquisition data processing strategy; Steroid sulfate; Toad gall-bladder