bims-supasi Biomed News
on Sulfation pathways and signalling
Issue of 2024‒05‒12
twelve papers selected by
Jonathan Wolf Mueller, University of Birmingham

  1. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Aug 01. pii: S0144-8617(24)00384-9. [Epub ahead of print]337 122158
      Chondroitin sulfate (CS) stands as a pivotal compound in dietary supplements for osteoarthritis treatment, propelling significant interest in the biotechnological pursuit of environmentally friendly and safe CS production. Enzymatic synthesis of CS for instance CSA has been considered as one of the most promising methods. However, the bottleneck consistently encountered is the active expression of chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferase (C4ST) during CSA biosynthesis. This study meticulously delved into optimizing C4ST expression through systematic enhancements in transcription, translation, and secretion mechanisms via modifications in the 5' untranslated region, the N-terminal encoding sequence, and the Komagataella phaffii chassis. Ultimately, the active C4ST expression escalated to 2713.1 U/L, representing a striking 43.7-fold increase. By applying the culture broth supernatant of C4ST and integrating the 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) biosynthesis module, we constructed a one-pot enzymatic system for CSA biosynthesis, achieving a remarkable sulfonation degree of up to 97.0 %. The substantial enhancement in C4ST expression and the development of an engineered one-pot enzymatic synthesis system promises to expedite large-scale CSA biosynthesis with customizable sulfonation degrees.
    Keywords:  3′-Phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphosulfate; Chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferase; Chondroitin sulfate; Komagataella phaffii; Sulfonation degree
  2. bioRxiv. 2024 Apr 28. pii: 2024.04.25.591175. [Epub ahead of print]
      Amphiregulin (Areg), a growth factor produced by regulatory T (Treg) cells to facilitate tissue repair/regeneration, contains a heparan sulfate (HS) binding domain. How HS, a highly sulfated glycan subtype that alters growth factor signaling, influences Areg repair/regeneration functions is unclear. Here we report that inhibition of HS in various cell lines and primary lung mesenchymal cells (LMC) qualitatively alters downstream signaling and highlights the existence of HS-dependent vs. -independent Areg transcriptional signatures. Utilizing a panel of cell lines with targeted deletions in HS synthesis-related genes, we found that the presence of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans is critical for Areg signaling and confirmed this dependency in primary LMC by siRNA-mediated knockdown. Furthermore, in the context of influenza A (IAV) infection in vivo , we found that an Areg-responsive subset of reparative LMC upregulate glypican-4 and HS. Conditional deletion of HS primarily within this LMC subset resulted in reduced blood oxygen saturation following infection with IAV, with no changes in viral load. Finally, we found that co-culture of HS-knockout LMC with IAV-induced Treg cells results in reduced LMC responses. Collectively, this study reveals the essentiality of HS on a specific lung mesenchymal population as a mediator of Treg cell-derived Areg reparative signaling during IAV infection.
  3. Essays Biochem. 2024 May 07. pii: EBC20230094. [Epub ahead of print]
      The vast structural diversity of sulfated polysaccharides demands an equally diverse array of enzymes known as polysaccharide sulfotransferases (PSTs). PSTs are present across all kingdoms of life, including algae, fungi and archaea, and their sulfation pathways are relatively unexplored. Sulfated polysaccharides possess anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and anti-cancer properties and have great therapeutic potential. Current identification of PSTs using Pfam has been predominantly focused on the identification of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) sulfotransferases because of their pivotal roles in cell communication, extracellular matrix formation and coagulation. As a result, our knowledge of non-GAG PSTs structure and function remains limited. The major sulfotransferase families, Sulfotransfer_1 and Sulfotransfer_2, display broad homology and should enable the capture of a wide assortment of sulfotransferases but are limited in non-GAG PST sequence annotation. In addition, sequence annotation is further restricted by the paucity of biochemical analyses of PSTs. There are now high-throughput and robust assays for sulfotransferases such as colorimetric PAPS (3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate) coupled assays, Europium-based fluorescent probes for ratiometric PAP (3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate) detection, and NMR methods for activity and product analysis. These techniques provide real-time and direct measurements to enhance the functional annotation and subsequent analysis of sulfated polysaccharides across the tree of life to improve putative PST identification and characterisation of function. Improved annotation and biochemical analysis of PST sequences will enhance the utility of PSTs across biomedical and biotechnological sectors.
    Keywords:  High-throughput assay; Pfam; algae; glycobiology; sulfotransferases
  4. Carbohydr Polym. 2024 Aug 01. pii: S0144-8617(24)00382-5. [Epub ahead of print]337 122156
      Seaweeds represent a rich source of sulfated polysaccharides with similarity to heparan sulfate, a facilitator of myriad virus host cell attachment. For this reason, attention has been drawn to their antiviral activity, including the potential for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. We have identified and structurally characterized several fucoidan extracts, including those from different species of brown macroalga, and a rhamnan sulfate from a green macroalga species. A high molecular weight fucoidan extracted from Saccharina japonica (FSjRPI-27), and a rhamnan sulfate extracted from Monostroma nitidum (RSMn), showed potent competitive inhibition of spike glycoprotein receptor binding to a heparin-coated SPR chip. This inhibition was also observed in cell-based assays using hACE2 HEK-293 T cells infected by pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus with IC50 values <1 μg/mL. Effectiveness was demonstrated in vivo using hACE2-transgenic mice. Intranasal administration of FSjRPI-27 showed protection when dosed 6 h prior to and at infection, and then every 2 days post-infection, with 100 % survival and no toxicity at 104 plaque-forming units per mouse vs. buffer control. At 5-fold higher virus dose, FSjRPI-27 reduced mortality and yielded reduced viral titers in bronchioalveolar fluid and lung homogenates vs. buffer control. These findings suggest the potential application of seaweed-based sulfated polysaccharides as promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 prophylactics.
    Keywords:  Fractionation; Fucoidan; In vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity; In vivo prophylaxis; Rhamnan sulfate; SARS-CoV-2
  5. Nat Commun. 2024 May 04. 15(1): 3755
      Heparin is an important anticoagulant drug, and microbial heparin biosynthesis is a potential alternative to animal-derived heparin production. However, effectively using heparin synthesis enzymes faces challenges, especially with microbial recombinant expression of active heparan sulfate N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase. Here, we introduce the monosaccharide N-trifluoroacetylglucosamine into Escherichia coli K5 to facilitate sulfation modification. The Protein Repair One-Stop Service-Focused Rational Iterative Site-specific Mutagenesis (PROSS-FRISM) platform is used to enhance sulfotransferase efficiency, resulting in the engineered NST-M8 enzyme with significantly improved stability (11.32-fold) and activity (2.53-fold) compared to the wild-type N-sulfotransferase. This approach can be applied to engineering various sulfotransferases. The multienzyme cascade reaction enables the production of active heparin from bioengineered heparosan, demonstrating anti-FXa (246.09 IU/mg) and anti-FIIa (48.62 IU/mg) activities. This study offers insights into overcoming challenges in heparin synthesis and modification, paving the way for the future development of animal-free heparins using a cellular system-based semisynthetic strategy.
  6. J Endod. 2024 May 06. pii: S0099-2399(24)00278-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a major component of dental pulp tissue. We previously reported that inhibiting HS biosynthesis impedes endothelial differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). However, the underlying mechanisms by which exogenous HS induces DPSC differentiation and pulp tissue regeneration remain unknown. This study explores the impact of exogenous HS on vasculogenesis and dentinogenesis of DPSCs both in vitro and in vivo.METHODS: Human-derived DPSCs were cultured in endothelial and odontogenic differentiation media and treated with HS. Endothelial differentiation of DPSCs was investigated by real-time PCR and capillary sprouting assay. Odontogenic differentiation was assessed through real-time PCR and detection of mineralized dentin-like deposition. Additionally, the influence of HS on pulp tissue was assessed with a direct pulp capping model, in which HS was delivered to exposed pulp tissue in rats. Gelatin sponges were loaded with either phosphate-buffered saline or 101-102 μg/mL HS and placed onto the pulp tissue. Following a 28-day period, tissues were investigated by histological analysis and micro-CT imaging.
    RESULTS: HS treatment markedly increased expression levels of key endothelial and odontogenic genes, enhanced the formation of capillary-like structures, and promoted the deposition of mineralized matrices. Treatment of exposed pulp tissue with HS in the in vivo pulp capping study induced formation of capillaries and reparative dentin.
    CONCLUSIONS: Exogenous HS effectively promoted vasculogenesis and dentinogenesis of DPSCs in vitro and induced reparative dentin formation in vivo, highlighting its therapeutic potential for pulp capping treatment.
    Keywords:  Heparan sulfate; dental pulp stem cells; dentinogenesis; pulp capping; vasculogenesis
  7. J Sex Med. 2024 May 09. pii: qdae052. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Intravesical instillation of hyaluronic acid (HA) has been associated with reduced sexual dysfunction in participants with recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs), but the efficacy of an oral treatment has never been investigated.AIM: To investigate the efficacy of an oral preparation of HA, chondroitin sulfate, N-acetylglucosamine, and vitamin C in improving sexual and urinary symptoms in a cohort of reproductive-age participants with rUTI.
    METHODS: In a monocentric randomized crossover pilot trial, participants with rUTI who were referred to our institute between March 2022 and April 2023 were randomized 1:1 in 2 groups: intervention vs control. All participants had an oral preparation of cranberry, D-mannose, propolis extract, turmeric, and Boswellia twice a day for 3 months. The intervention group also included an oral preparation of HA, chondroitin sulfate, N-acetylglucosamine, and vitamin C once a day for 3 months. Crossover of treatment occurred at 3 months for an additional 3 months. At baseline and 3 and 6 months, participants were evaluated clinically and with the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models tested the impact of the intervention on urinary and sexual symptoms at each follow-up assessment.
    OUTCOMES: Improvement in sexual and urinary symptoms as measured by the FSFI and IPSS.
    RESULTS: Overall, 27 (54%) participants had an FSFI score <26.5 at enrollment. At 3 months, FSFI scores were higher in the intervention group vs control (P < .001), but IPSS scores were lower (P = .03). After crossover of treatment, FSFI and IPSS scores remained stable in the intervention group. However, after crossover, the control group showed a significant improvement in IPSS and FSFI scores (all P < .01) vs the 3-month assessment. At last follow-up, urinary and sexual symptoms were comparable between groups. In logistic regression analyses, the intervention group was associated with early improvement in sexual symptoms (odds ratio, 3.9; P = .04) and urinary symptoms (odds ratio, 5.1; P = .01) after accounting for clinical confounders.
    CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Combination treatment with HA, chondroitin sulfate, N-acetylglucosamine, and vitamin C is effective if started immediately or even after a few months from symptoms in participants with rUTI.
    STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: The main limitation is the lack of long-term follow-up.
    CONCLUSION: The oral formulation of HA, chondroitin sulfate, N-acetylglucosamine, and vitamin C could be an effective therapy against urinary and sexual distress in participants with rUTI (NCT06268483;
    Keywords:  Female Sexual Function Index; hyaluronic acid; recurrent urinary tract infections; risk factor; urinary symptoms
  8. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2024 May 04. pii: S0960-0760(24)00075-X. [Epub ahead of print] 106527
      Methyltestosterone (MT) is one of the most frequently misused anabolic androgenic steroids detected in doping control analysis. The metabolism of MT in humans leads to several phase І metabolites and their corresponding phase Ⅱ conjugates. Previous studies have postulated the 3α-sulfoconjugate of 17α-methyl-5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol (S2) as principal sulfate metabolite of MT, with a detection window exceeding 10 days. However, a final direct and unambiguous confirmation of the structure of this metabolite is missing until now. In this study, we established an approach to detect and identify S2, using intact analysis by liquid chromatography hyphenated with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) without complex sample pretreatment. An in vitro study yielded the LC-MS/MS reference retention times of all 3-sulfated 17-methylandrostane-3,17-diol diastereomers, allowing for accurate structure assignment of potentially detected metabolites. In an in vivo excretion study with a single healthy male volunteer, the presence of the metabolite S2 was confirmed after a single oral dose of 10mg MT. The reference standard was chemically synthesized, characterized by accurate mass mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and quantified by quantitative qNMR. Thus, this study finally provides accurate structure information on the S2 metabolite and a direct analytical method for detection of MT misuse. The availability of the reference material is expected to be of benefit for further evaluation and subsequent analytical method validation in anti-doping research.
    Keywords:  Methyltestosterone; doping control; fission yeast; sulfotransferase metabolism; tetrahydromethyltestosterone sulfate
  9. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2024 May 02. pii: S0021-9797(24)00959-7. [Epub ahead of print]669 275-282
      The triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) of natural biomaterials is a new type of energy harvesting device and can be used as a self-powered sensor, which has received extensive research and attention. In this paper, based on the biocompatibility of chitosan and chondroitin sulfate, ZnO-modified chitosan/chondroitin sulfate/ZnO TENG was prepared for research on wearable devices and sustainable power supply devices. This study employs molecular dynamics to compute the interaction energy between chitosan and ZnO molecules. Theoretical calculations have unequivocally substantiated the occurrence of a binding interaction between these two molecular entities. The effect of ZnO on chitosan/chondroitin sulfate morphology was investigated by atomic force microscopy. The chitosan/chondroitin sulfate/ZnO TENG has high flexibility and electrical output performance. It can reach 105 V and 3.3 µA of open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current. Chitosan/chondroitin Sulfate/ZnO TENG successfully converts the mechanical energy of human motion into electrical energy. Strong electrical signals are exhibited when making fists and waving fingers and wrists. The TENG is a self-powered source and lights up 70 blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The chitosan/chondroitin sulfate/ZnO TENG has demonstrated its capabilities in energy harvesting and wearable self-powered sensors.
    Keywords:  Biocompatible; Chitosan polymer; Self-powered sensing; Triboelectric nanogenerator; Wearable electronics
  10. Genes Brain Behav. 2024 Jun;23(3): e12893
      Steroid sulphatase (STS) cleaves sulphate groups from steroid hormones, and steroid (sulphate) levels correlate with mood and age-related cognitive decline. In animals, STS inhibition or deletion of the associated gene, enhances memory/neuroprotection and alters hippocampal neurochemistry. Little is known about the consequences of constitutive STS deficiency on memory-related processes in humans. We investigated self-reported memory performance (Multifactorial Memory Questionnaire), word-picture recall and recent mood (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, K10) in adult males with STS deficiency diagnosed with the dermatological condition X-linked ichthyosis (XLI; n = 41) and in adult female carriers of XLI-associated genetic variants (n = 79); we compared results to those obtained from matched control subjects [diagnosed with ichthyosis vulgaris (IV, n = 98) or recruited from the general population (n = 250)]. Using the UK Biobank, we compared mood/memory-related neuroanatomy in carriers of genetic deletions encompassing STS (n = 28) and non-carriers (n = 34,522). We found poorer word-picture recall and lower perceived memory abilities in males with XLI and female carriers compared with control groups. XLI-associated variant carriers and individuals with IV reported more adverse mood symptoms, reduced memory contentment and greater use of memory aids, compared with general population controls. Mood and memory findings appeared largely independent. Neuroanatomical analysis only indicated a nominally-significantly larger molecular layer in the right hippocampal body of deletion carriers relative to non-carriers. In humans, constitutive STS deficiency appears associated with mood-independent impairments in memory but not with large effects on underlying brain structure; the mediating psychobiological mechanisms might be explored further in individuals with XLI and in new mammalian models lacking STS developmentally.
    Keywords:  Xp22.31; dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate; globus pallidus; hippocampus; online survey
  11. Talanta. 2024 May 06. pii: S0039-9140(24)00602-7. [Epub ahead of print]276 126223
      2-ethylhexyl salicylate (EHS) is used as a UV filter in personal-care products, such as sunscreen, to prevent skin damage through UV radiation. The application of EHS-containing products leads to systemic EHS absorption, metabolization and excretion. To measure EHS and its corresponding metabolite levels in urine, a comprehensive analytical procedure based on an extended enzymatic hydrolysis, on-line-SPE, and UPLC-MS/MS was developed. The method covers a large profile of seven metabolites (including isomeric structures) as well as EHS itself in a run time only of 18 min. Easy sample preparation, consisting of a 2-h hydrolysis step, followed by on-line enrichment and purification, add to the efficiency of the method. An update, compared to a previous method for the determination of EHS and metabolites in urine, is that, during hydrolysis, both glucuronide and sulfate conjugates are considered. The method was furthermore applied to urine samples after a real-life exposure scenario to EHS-containing sunscreen. The method is highly sensitive with limits of detection ranging from 6 to 65 ng/L. Moreover, it is characterized by good precision data, accuracy, and robustness to matrix influences. Application of the method to urine samples following dermal exposure to an EHS-containing sunscreen revealed EHS as the main biomarker after dermal exposure, followed by the major biomarkers 5OH-EHS, 5cx-EPS, 4OH-EHS and 5oxo-EHS. The expansion and optimization of this method decisively contributes to the research on the dermal metabolism of EHS and can be applied in exposure studies and for human biomonitoring.
    Keywords:  Ethylhexyl salicylate; Human biomonitoring; LC-MS/MS; Octisalate; Sulfate conjugates; UV filter
  12. Biomacromolecules. 2024 May 10.
      3D-printed hydrogel scaffolds biomimicking the extracellular matrix (ECM) are key in cartilage tissue engineering as they can enhance the chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) through the presence of active nanoparticles such as graphene oxide (GO). Here, biomimetic hydrogels were developed by cross-linking alginate, gelatin, and chondroitin sulfate biopolymers in the presence of GO as a bioactive filler, with excellent processability for developing bioactive 3D printed scaffolds and for the bioprinting process. A novel bioink based on our hydrogel with embedded human MSCs presented a cell survival rate near 100% after the 3D bioprinting process. The effects of processing and filler concentration on cell differentiation were further quantitatively evaluated. The nanocomposited hydrogels render high MSC proliferation and viability, exhibiting intrinsic chondroinductive capacity without any exogenous factor when used to print scaffolds or bioprint constructs. The bioactivity depended on the GO concentration, with the best performance at 0.1 mg mL-1. These results were explained by the rational combination of the three biopolymers, with GO nanoparticles having carboxylate and sulfate groups in their structures, therefore, biomimicking the highly negatively charged ECM of cartilage. The bioactivity of this biomaterial and its good processability for 3D printing scaffolds and 3D bioprinting techniques open up a new approach to developing novel biomimetic materials for cartilage repair.