Glycosylation affects ligand binding and function of the activating natural killer cell receptor 2B4 (CD244) protein.
ABSTRACT 2B4 (CD244) is an important activating receptor for the regulation of natural killer (NK) cell responses. Here we show that 2B4 is heavily and differentially glycosylated in primary human NK cells and NK cell lines. The differential glycosylation could be attributed to sialic acid residues on N- and O-linked carbohydrates. Using a recombinant fusion protein of the extracellular domain of 2B4, we demonstrate that N-linked glycosylation of 2B4 is essential for the binding to its ligand CD48. In contrast, sialylation of 2B4 has a negative impact on ligand binding, as the interaction between 2B4 and CD48 is increased after the removal of sialic acids. This was confirmed in a functional assay system, where the desialylation of NK cells or the inhibition of O-linked glycosylation resulted in increased 2B4-mediated lysis of CD48-expressing tumor target cells. These data demonstrate that glycosylation has an important impact on 2B4-mediated NK cell function and suggest that regulated changes in glycosylation during NK cell development and activation might be involved in the regulation of NK cell responses.
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ABSTRACT: Carbohydrates fulfil many common as well as extremely important functions in nature. They show a variety of molecular displays - e.g., free mono-, oligo-, and polysaccharides, glycolipids, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, etc. - with particular roles and localizations in living organisms. Structure-specific peculiarities are so many and diverse that it becomes virtually impossible to cover them all from an analytical perspective. Hence this manuscript, focused on mammalian glycosylation, rather than a complete list of analytical descriptors or recognized functions for carbohydrate structures, comprehensively reviews three central issues in current glycoscience, namely (i) structural analysis of glycoprotein glycans, covering both classical and novel approaches for teasing out the structural puzzle as well as potential pitfalls of these processes; (ii) an overview of functions attributed to carbohydrates, covering from monosaccharide to complex, well-defined epitopes and full glycans, including post-glycosylational modifications, and (iii) recent technical advances allowing structural identification of glycoprotein glycans with simultaneous assignation of biological functions.The Analyst 04/2014; · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Blue mussels adhere to surfaces by the byssus, a holdfast structure composed of individual threads representing a collagen fibre reinforced composite. Here, we present the crystal structure and function of one of its matrix proteins, the proximal thread matrix protein 1, which is present in the proximal section of the byssus. The structure reveals two von Willebrand factor type A domains linked by a two-β-stranded linker yielding a novel structural arrangement. In vitro, the protein binds heterologous collagens with high affinity and affects collagen assembly, morphology and arrangement of its fibrils. By providing charged surface clusters as well as insufficiently coordinated metal ions, the proximal thread matrix protein 1 might interconnect other byssal proteins and thereby contribute to the integrity of the byssal threads in vivo. Moreover, the protein could be used for adjusting the mechanical properties of collagen materials, a function likely important in the natural byssus.Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:3392. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Viruses must continually adapt against dynamic innate and adaptive responses of the host immune system to establish chronic infection. Only a small minority (~20%) of those exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) spontaneously clear infection, leaving approximately 200 million people worldwide chronically infected with HCV. A number of recent research studies suggest that establishment and maintenance of chronic HCV infection involve natural killer (NK) cell dysfunction. This relationship is illustrated in vitro by disruption of typical NK cell responses including both cell-mediated cytotoxicity and cytokine production. Expression of a number of activating NK cell receptors in vivo is also affected in chronic HCV infection. Thus, direct in vivo and in vitro evidence of compromised NK function in chronic HCV infection in conjunction with significant epidemiological associations between the outcome of HCV infection and certain combinations of NK cell regulatory receptor and class I human histocompatibility linked antigen (HLA) genotypes indicate that NK cells are important in the immune response against HCV infection. In this review, we highlight evidence suggesting that selective impairment of NK cell activity is related to establishment of chronic HCV infection.BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:903764. · 2.71 Impact Factor