bims-supasi Biomed News
on Sulfation pathways and signalling
Issue of 2024‒03‒24
fifteen papers selected by
Jonathan Wolf Mueller, University of Birmingham

  1. FEBS J. 2024 Mar 18.
      Mammalian glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), except hyaluronan (HA), are sulfated polysaccharides that are covalently attached to core proteins to form proteoglycans (PGs). This article summarizes key biological findings for the most widespread GAGs, namely HA, chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS), keratan sulfate (KS), and heparan sulfate (HS). It focuses on the major processes that remain to be deciphered to get a comprehensive view of the mechanisms mediating GAG biological functions. They include the regulation of GAG biosynthesis and postsynthetic modifications in heparin (HP) and HS, the composition, heterogeneity, and function of the tetrasaccharide linkage region and its role in disease, the functional characterization of the new PGs recently identified by glycoproteomics, the selectivity of interactions mediated by GAG chains, the display of GAG chains and PGs at the cell surface and their impact on the availability and activity of soluble ligands, and on their move through the glycocalyx layer to reach their receptors, the human GAG profile in health and disease, the roles of GAGs and particular PGs (syndecans, decorin, and biglycan) involved in cancer, inflammation, and fibrosis, the possible use of GAGs and PGs as disease biomarkers, and the design of inhibitors targeting GAG biosynthetic enzymes and GAG-protein interactions to develop novel therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  biological functions; biomaterials; biosynthesis; cancer; drugs; glycosaminoglycans; inflammation; interactions; small leucine-rich proteoglycans; syndecans
  2. J Am Chem Soc. 2024 Mar 17.
      Keratan sulfate (KS) is a proteoglycan that is widely expressed in the extracellular matrix of various tissue types, where it performs multiple biological functions. KS is the least understood proteoglycan, which in part is due to a lack of panels of well-defined KS oligosaccharides that are needed for structure-binding studies, as analytical standards, to examine substrate specificities of keratinases, and for drug development. Here, we report a biomimetic approach that makes it possible to install, in a regioselective manner, sulfates and fucosides on oligo-N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) chains to provide any structural element of KS by using specific enzyme modules. It is based on the observation that α1,3-fucosides, α2,6-sialosides and C-6 sulfation of galactose (Gal6S) are mutually exclusive and cannot occur on the same LacNAc moiety. As a result, the pattern of sulfation on galactosides can be controlled by installing α1,3-fucosides or α2,6-sialosides to temporarily block certain LacNAc moieties from sulfation by keratan sulfate galactose 6-sulfotransferase (CHST1). The patterns of α1,3-fucosylation and α2,6-sialylation can be controlled by exploiting the mutual exclusivity of these modifications, which in turn controls the sites of sulfation by CHST1. Late-stage treatment with a fucosidase or sialidase to remove blocking fucosides or sialosides provides selectively sulfated KS oligosaccharides. These treatments also unmasked specific galactosides for further modification by CHST1. To showcase the potential of the enzymatic strategy, we have prepared a range of poly-LacNAc derivatives having different patterns of fucosylation and sulfation and several N-glycans decorated by specific arrangements of sulfates.
  3. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Jun 01. pii: S0144-8617(24)00205-4. [Epub ahead of print]333 121979
      Heparan sulfate (HS) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found throughout nature and is involved in a wide range of functions including modulation of cell signalling via sequestration of growth factors. Current consensus is that the specificity of HS motifs for protein binding are individual for each protein. Given the structural complexity of HS the synthesis of libraries of these compounds to probe this is not trivial. Herein we present the synthesis of an HS decamer, the design of which was undertaken rationally from previously published data for HS binding to the growth factor BMP-2. The biological activity of this HS decamer was assessed in vitro, showing that it had the ability to both bind BMP-2 and increase its thermal stability as well as enhancing the bioactivity of BMP-2 in vitro in C2C12 cells. At the same time no undesired anticoagulant effect was observed. This decamer was then analysed in vivo in a rabbit model where higher bone formation, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular thickness were observed over an empty defect or collagen implant alone. This indicated that the HS decamer was effective in promoting bone regeneration in vivo.
    Keywords:  BMP-2; Bone regeneration; Heparan sulfate; Rational design
  4. Org Lett. 2024 Mar 18.
      A methodology is described that can provide heparan sulfate oligosaccharides having a Δ4,5-double bond, which are needed as analytical standards and biomarkers for mucopolysaccharidoses. It is based on chemical oligosaccharide synthesis followed by modification of the C-4 hydroxyl of the terminal uronic acid moiety as methanesulfonate. This leaving group is stable under conditions used to remove temporary protecting groups, O-sulfation, and hydrogenolysis. Treatment with NaOH results in elimination of the methanesulfonate and formation of a Δ4,5-double bond.
  5. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Jun 01. pii: S0144-8617(24)00156-5. [Epub ahead of print]333 121930
      Carrageenans represent a major cell wall component of red macro algae and, as established gelling and thickening agents, they contribute significantly to a broad variety of commercial applications in the food and cosmetic industry. As a highly sulfated class of linear polysaccharides, their functional properties are strongly related to the sulfation pattern of their carrabiose repeating units. Therefore, the biocatalytic fine-tuning of these polymers by generating tailored sulfation architectures harnessing the hydrolytic activity of sulfatases could be a powerful tool to produce novel polymer structures with tuned properties to expand applications of carrageenans beyond their current use. To contribute to this vision, we sought to identify novel carrageenan sulfatases by studying several putative carrageenolytic clusters in marine heterotrophic bacteria. This approach revealed two novel formylglycine-dependent sulfatases from Cellulophaga algicola DSM 14237 and Cellulophaga baltica DSM 24729 with promiscuous hydrolytic activity towards the sulfated galactose in the industrially established ι- and κ-carrageenan, converting them into α- and β-carrageenan, respectively, and enabling the production of a variety of novel pure and hybrid carrageenans. The rheological analysis of these enzymatically generated structures revealed significantly altered physicochemical properties that may open the gate to a variety of novel carrageenan-based applications.
    Keywords:  Biotransformation; Carrageenan; Enzymatic modification; Rheology; Sulfatase
  6. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Jun 01. pii: S0144-8617(24)00212-1. [Epub ahead of print]333 121986
      Heparin, an anticoagulant with a century-long history of use, has been investigated over the past decade as a potential drug delivery vehicle. Despite its safety and efficacy, its interactions with many proteins through specific sulfate patterns can complicate drug delivery by mediating diverse biological functions. Here, we present the synthesis of a three-component drug delivery system comprising de-sulfated heparin as the carrier, galactose as the targeting moiety, and paclitaxel as the therapeutic drug. Removal of sulfates eliminated most of its anticoagulant effects in all intermediates. Through coupling with galactose and paclitaxel, the system improved the solubility of the drug and achieved selective targeting and efficient drug delivery to HepG2 cells, a liver carcinoma cell line with high galactose receptor expression. While the three-component system exhibited a slightly higher IC50 value than native paclitaxel, demonstrating its efficacy as a drug carrier, the IC50 value for the normal human liver cell line QSG7701 was significantly higher, indicating its selectivity and safety. Our study introduces a novel approach utilizing desulfated heparin as a carrier, warranting further investigation to unlock its potential in targeted drug delivery strategies.
    Keywords:  Click chemistry; Drug delivery; Heparin; Synthesis; Targeting; de-sulfation
  7. Cancer Res Commun. 2024 Mar 22.
      Immunotherapies for cancers of epithelial origin have limited efficacy, and a growing body of evidence links the composition of extracellular matrix (ECM) with the likelihood of a favourable response to treatment. The ECM may be considered an immunological barrier, restricting the localisation of cytotoxic immune cells to stromal areas and inhibiting their contact with tumour cells. Identifying ECM components of this immunological barrier could provide targets that if degraded in situ may support anti-tumour immunity and improve immunotherapy response. Using a library of primary triple negative breast cancer tissues, we correlated CD8+ T cell tumour contact with ECM composition and identified a proteoglycan, versican (VCAN), as a putative member of the immunological barrier. Our analysis reveals that CD8+ T cell contact with tumour associates with the location of VCAN expression, the specific glycovariant of VCAN (defined through the pattern of post-translational attachments of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)), and the cell types that produce the variant. In functional studies the isomers of chondroitin sulfate presented on VCAN have opposing roles being either supportive or inhibiting of T cell trafficking, and removal of the GAGs ameliorates these effects on T cell trafficking. Overall, we conclude that VCAN can either support or inhibit T cell trafficking within the tumour microenvironment depending on the pattern of GAGs present, and that VCAN is a major component of the ECM immunological barrier that defines the type of response to immunotherapy.
  8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Apr 02. 121(14): e2315586121
      Heparins have been invaluable therapeutic anticoagulant polysaccharides for over a century, whether used as unfractionated heparin or as low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) derivatives. However, heparin production by extraction from animal tissues presents multiple challenges, including the risk of adulteration, contamination, prion and viral impurities, limited supply, insecure supply chain, and significant batch-to-batch variability. The use of animal-derived heparin also raises ethical and religious concerns, as well as carries the risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases. Chemoenzymatic synthesis of animal-free heparin products would offer several advantages, including reliable and scalable production processes, improved purity and consistency, and the ability to produce heparin polysaccharides with molecular weight, structural, and functional properties equivalent to those of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) heparin, currently only sourced from porcine intestinal mucosa. We report a scalable process for the production of bioengineered heparin that is biologically and compositionally similar to USP heparin. This process relies on enzymes from the heparin biosynthetic pathway, immobilized on an inert support and requires a tailored N-sulfoheparosan with N-sulfo levels similar to those of porcine heparins. We also report the conversion of our bioengineered heparin into a LMWH that is biologically and compositionally similar to USP enoxaparin. Ultimately, we demonstrate major advances to a process to provide a potential clinical and sustainable alternative to porcine-derived heparin products.
    Keywords:  USP-heparin; bioengineered heparin; chemoenzymatic process; enoxaparin; low molecular weight heparin
  9. J Virol. 2024 Mar 19. e0013924
      Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is a novel porcine enteric coronavirus, and the broad interspecies infection of SADS-CoV poses a potential threat to human health. This study provides experimental evidence to dissect the roles of distinct domains within the SADS-CoV spike S1 subunit in cellular entry. Specifically, we expressed the S1 and its subdomains, S1A and S1B. Cell binding and invasion inhibition assays revealed a preference for the S1B subdomain in binding to the receptors on the cell surface, and this unknown receptor is not utilized by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Nanoparticle display demonstrated hemagglutination of erythrocytes from pigs, humans, and mice, linking the S1A subdomain to the binding of sialic acid (Sia) involved in virus attachment. We successfully rescued GFP-labeled SADS-CoV (rSADS-GFP) from a recombinant cDNA clone to track viral infection. Antisera raised against S1, S1A, or S1B contained highly potent neutralizing antibodies, with anti-S1B showing better efficiency in neutralizing rSADS-GFP infection compared to anti-S1A. Furthermore, depletion of heparan sulfate (HS) by heparinase treatment or pre-incubation of rSADS-GFP with HS or constituent monosaccharides could inhibit SADS-CoV entry. Finally, we demonstrated that active furin cleavage of S glycoprotein and the presence of type II transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) are essential for SADS-CoV infection. These combined observations suggest that the wide cell tropism of SADS-CoV may be related to the distribution of Sia or HS on the cell surface, whereas the S1B contains the main protein receptor binding site. Specific host proteases also play important roles in facilitating SADS-CoV entry.IMPORTANCESwine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is a novel pathogen infecting piglet, and its unique genetic evolution characteristics and broad species tropism suggest the potential for cross-species transmission. The virus enters cells through its spike (S) glycoprotein. In this study, we identify the receptor binding domain on the C-terminal part of the S1 subunit (S1B) of SADS-CoV, whereas the sugar-binding domain located at the S1 N-terminal part of S1 (S1A). Sialic acid, heparan sulfate, and specific host proteases play essential roles in viral attachment and entry. The dissection of SADS-CoV S1 subunit's functional domains and identification of cellular entry cofactors will help to explore the receptors used by SADS-CoV, which may contribute to exploring the mechanisms behind cross-species transmission and host tropism.
    Keywords:  TMPRSS2; heparan sulfate; receptor-binding domain (RBD); sialic acid; spike; swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV)
  10. Toxicon. 2024 Mar 18. pii: S0041-0101(24)00262-9. [Epub ahead of print]242 107690
      Two field cases of reddish-black pigmenturia occurred where cattle grazed on an established Cenchrus ciliaris (blue buffalo grass) pasture in South Africa. The pasture was noticeably invaded by Indigofera cryptantha, which was heavily grazed. Apart from the discolored urine, no other clinical abnormalities were detected. Urinalysis revealed hemoglobinuria, proteinuria and an alkaline pH. When the animals were immediately removed from the infested pasture, they made an uneventful recovery. However, a bull died when one of the herds could not be removed from the I. cryptantha-infested pasture. Macroscopically, the kidneys were dark red in color and the urinary bladder contained the dark pigmented urine. Microscopically, the renal tubules contained eosinophilic, granular pigment casts in the lumen. In addition, many renal tubular epithelial cells were attenuated with granular cytoplasm and were detached from the basement membranes. Chemical analysis was performed on dried, milled plant material and two urine samples collected during the field investigations. Qualitative UPLC-UV-qTOF/MS analysis revealed the presence of indican (indoxyl-β-glucoside) in the stems, leaves and pods of I. cryptantha and indoxyl sulfate was identified, and confirmed with an analytical standard, in the urine samples. It is proposed that following ingestion of I. cryptantha, indican will be hydrolysed in the liver to indoxyl and conjugated with sulfate. Indoxyl sulfate will then be excreted in relatively high concentrations in the urine. In the alkaline urine, two indoxyl molecules might dimerize to form leucoindigo with subsequent oxidation to indigo, thus, contributing to the dark pigmentation of the urine. It is also possible that indoxyl sulfate contributed to the renal failure and death of the bull. Although I. suffruticosa-induced hemoglobinuria has been described in Brazil, this is the first report of I. cryptantha-induced pigmenturia in cattle in South Africa.
    Keywords:  Cattle; Indigo; Indigofera cryptantha; Indoxyl sulfate; Pigmenturia; UPLC-UV-qTOF/MS analysis
  11. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2024 Mar 20. pii: S0149-7634(24)00106-4. [Epub ahead of print] 105637
      Tics are sudden, repetitive movements or vocalizations. Tic disorders, such as Tourette syndrome (TS), are contributed by the interplay of genetic risk factors and environmental variables, leading to abnormalities in the functioning of the cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuitry. Various neurotransmitter systems, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine, are implicated in the pathophysiology of these disorders. Building on the evidence that tic disorders are predominant in males and exacerbated by stress, emerging research is focusing on the involvement of neuroactive steroids, including dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and allopregnanolone, in the ontogeny of tics and other phenotypes associated with TS. Emerging evidence indicates that DHEAS levels are significantly elevated in the plasma of TS-affected boys, and the clinical onset of this disorder coincides with the period of adrenarche, the developmental stage characterized by a surge in DHEAS synthesis. On the other hand, allopregnanolone has garnered particular attention for its potential to mediate the adverse effects of acute stress on the exacerbation of tic severity and frequency. Notably, both neurosteroids act as key modulators of GABA-A receptors, suggesting a pivotal role of these targets in the pathophysiology of various clinical manifestations of tic disorders. This review explores the potential mechanisms by which these and other neuroactive steroids may influence tic disorders and discusses the emerging therapeutic strategies that target neuroactive steroids for the management of tic disorders.
    Keywords:  DHEAS; allopregnalonone; neurosteroids; tic disorders; tourette syndrome
  12. Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 21. 14(1): 6782
      Pregnenolone sulfate is a steroid metabolite of the steroidogenesis precursor, pregnenolone, with similar functional properties, including immunosuppression. We recently reported an elevation in serum levels of pregnenolone sulfate in children with malaria, contributing to an immunosuppressed state. Yet, the molecular mechanisms in which this steroid exerts its immunoregulatory functions are lacking. In this study, we examined the effects of pregnenolone sulfate on T cell viability, proliferation and transcriptome. We observed a pregnenolone sulfate dose-dependent induction of T cell death and reduction in proliferation. RNA sequencing analysis of pregnenolone sulfate-treated T cells for 2 and 24 h revealed the downregulation of pro-inflammatory genes and the upregulation of the steroid nuclear receptor superfamily, NR4A, as early-response genes. We also report a strong activation of the integrated stress response mediated by the upregulation of EIF2AK3. These results contribute to the knowledge on transcriptional regulation driving the immunoregulatory effects of pregnenolone sulfate on T cells.
  13. Carbohydr Res. 2024 Mar 12. pii: S0008-6215(24)00058-2. [Epub ahead of print]538 109079
      Due to the all-axial orientation of the OH-groups in the 1C4 chair conformation considered standard for L-hexapyranosides, including l-iduronopyranoside - a component of many biologically and medically significant sulfated glycans, these monosaccharides can be anticipated to display unusual conformations upon the introduction of bulky and charged substituents. Herein we describe the synthesis of a series of iduronopyranoside derivatives with varying sulfation patterns, which were studied computationally using the DLPNO-MP2 approach and by means of analyzing their chemical shifts to ascertain the effects sulfation has on the conformation of the iduronopyranoside ring.
    Keywords:  Conformational studies; DLPNO-MP2; Iduronic acid; Quantum chemistry
  14. Nat Aging. 2024 Mar;4(3): 396-413
      Adrenal glands, vital for steroid secretion and the regulation of metabolism, stress responses and immune activation, experience age-related decline, impacting systemic health. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying adrenal aging remain largely uninvestigated. Here we established a single-nucleus transcriptomic atlas of both young and aged primate suprarenal glands, identifying lipid metabolism and steroidogenic pathways as core processes impacted by aging. We found dysregulation in centripetal adrenocortical differentiation in aged adrenal tissues and cells in the zona reticularis region, responsible for producing dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), were highly susceptible to aging, reflected by senescence, exhaustion and disturbed hormone production. Remarkably, LDLR was downregulated in all cell types of the outer cortex, and its targeted inactivation in human adrenal cells compromised cholesterol uptake and secretion of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, as observed in aged primate adrenal glands. Our study provides crucial insights into endocrine physiology, holding therapeutic promise for addressing aging-related adrenal insufficiency and delaying systemic aging.