Jian Liu

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (101)565.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The global supply of unfractionated heparin (UFH) and all commercially available low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) remain dependent on animal sources, such as porcine intestine or bovine lung. Recent experience has shown that contamination of the supply chain (with over-sulfated chondroitin sulfates) can result in lethal toxicity. Fondaparinux is currently the only commercially available synthetic analog of heparin. We recently described a new class of chemoenzymatically synthesized heparin analogs. One of these compounds (S12-mer) is a dodecasaccharide consisting of an antithrombin-binding moiety with repeating units of IdoA2S-GlcNS6S and two 3-O-sulfate groups that confer the ability to bind protamine. Objective/methods: We sought to further characterize this new compound in vitro using biochemical and global coagulation assays and in vivo using thrombosis and hemostasis assays. Results: The anticoagulant activities of the Super 12-mer (S12-mer) and Enoxaparin in anti-factor Xa and plasma-based thrombin generation assays were roughly equivalent with a 50% reduction in peak thrombin generation occurring at approximately 325nM. When protamine was titrated against a fixed concentration of S12-mer in plasma or blood, the S12-mer displayed a significant restitution of thrombin generation and clot formation. In vivo, S12-mer inhibited venous thrombosis to a similar extent as Enoxaparin, with similar bleeding profiles. Conclusions: These data show that the S12-mer has almost identical efficacy to Enoxaparin in terms of FXa inhibition, while displaying significant reversibility with protamine. Taken together with the ability to ensure purity and homogeneity from batch to batch, the S12-mer is a promising new synthetic heparin analog with a potentially enhanced safety profile.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Thrombosis Research
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfates are implicated in a wide range of biological processes. A major challenge in deciphering their structure and activity relationship is the synthetic difficulties to access diverse heparan sulfate oligosaccharides with well-defined sulfation patterns. In order to expedite the synthesis, a divergent synthetic strategy was developed. By integrating chemical synthesis and two types of O-sulfo transferases, seven different hexasaccharides were obtained from a single hexasaccharide precursor. This approach combined the flexibility of chemical synthesis with the selectivity of enzyme-catalysed sulfations, thus simplifying the overall synthetic operations. In an attempt to establish structure activity relationships of heparan sulfate binding with its receptor, the synthesized oligosaccharides were incorporated onto a glycan microarray, and their bindings with a growth factor FGF-2 were examined. The unique combination of chemical and enzymatic approaches expanded the capability of oligosaccharide synthesis. In addition, the well-defined heparan sulfate structures helped shine light on the fine substrate specificities of biosynthetic enzymes, and confirm the potential sequence of enzymatic reactions in biosynthesis.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Journal of Organic Chemistry
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    Dataset: cr500719h

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
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    Full-text · Dataset · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The use of biomass as raw material is becoming a major alternative to fossil fuels, as it is widely abundant and relatively inexpensive. Carbohydrates, such as cellulose, starch, and sucrose, are important raw materials in the chemical industry, as they are produced from biomass that is readily available in large amounts, facilitating their large-scale application. It is necessary to define the concept of green chemistry and the principles that govern it to adapt the chemistry of carbohydrates to sustainable production and processing. Green chemistry also offers the tools to build a sustainable industrial and research effort.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Chemical Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: We validate the utility of ion mobility to measure protein conformational changes induced by the binding of glycosaminoglycan ligands, using the well characterized system of Antithrombin III (ATIII) and Arixtra, a pharmaceutical agent with heparin (Hp) activity. Heparin has been used as a therapeutic anticoagulant drug for several decades through its interaction with ATIII, a serine protease inhibitor that plays a central role in the blood coagulation cascade. This interaction induces conformational changes within ATIII that dramatically enhance the ATIII-mediated inhibition rate. Arixtra is the smallest synthetic Hp containing the specific pentasaccharide sequence required to bind with ATIII. Here we report the first travelling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMS) investigation of the conformational changes in ATIII induced by its interaction with Arixtra. Native electrospray ionization mass spectrometry allowed the gentle transfer of the native topology of ATIII and ATIII-Arixtra complex. IM measurements of ATIII and ATIII-Arixtra complex showed a single structure, with well-defined collisional cross section (CCS) values. An average 3.6% increase in CCS of ATIII occurred as a result of its interaction with Arixtra, which agrees closely with the theoretical estimation of the change in CCS based on protein crystal structures. A comparison of the binding behavior of ATIII under both denaturing and non-denaturing conditions confirmed the significance of a folded tertiary structure of ATIII for its biological activity. A Hp oligosaccharide whose structure is similar to Arixtra but missing the 3-O sulfo group on the central glucosamine residue showed a dramatic decrease in binding affinity towards ATIII, but no change in the mobility behavior of the complex, consistent with prior studies that suggested that 3-O sulfation affects the equilibrium constant for binding to ATIII, but not the mode of interaction. In contrast, nonspecific binding by a Hp tetrasaccharide showed more complex mobility behavior, suggesting more promiscuous interactions with ATIII. The effect of collisional activation of ATIII and ATIII-Arixtra complex were also assessed, revealing that the binding of Arixtra provided ATIII with additional stability against unfolding. Overall, our results validate the capability of TWIMS to retain the significant features of the solution structure of a protein-carbohydrate complex so that it can be used to study protein conformational changes induced by the binding of glycosaminoglycan ligands.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · The Analyst
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a highly sulfated polysaccharide that plays important physiological roles. The biosynthesis of HS involves a series of enzymes, including glycosyltransferases (or HS polymerase), epimerase and sulfotransferases. N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase isoform 1 (NDST-1) is a critical enzyme in this pathway. NDST-1, a bifunctional enzyme, displays N-deacetylase and N-sulfotransferase activities to convert an N-acetylated glucosamine residue to an N-sulfo glucosamine residue. Here, we report the cooperative effects between N-deacetylase and N-sulfotransferase activities. Using baculovirus expression in insect cells, we obtained three recombinant proteins: full-length NDST-1 and the individual N-deacetylase and N-sulfotransferase domains. Structurally defined oligosaccharide substrates were synthesized to test the substrate specificities of the enzymes. We discovered that N-deacetylation is the limiting step, and that interplay between the N-sulfotransferase and N-deacetylase accelerates the reaction. Furthermore, combining the individually expressed N-deacetylase and N-sulfotransferase domains produced different sulfation patterns compared with that made by the NDST-1 enzyme. Our data demonstrates the essential role of domain cooperation within NDST-1 in producing HS with specific domain structures. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: A chemoenzymatic approach for synthesizing heparan sulfate oligosaccharides with a reactive diazoacetyl saccharide residue is reported. The resultant oligosaccharides were demonstrated to serve as specific inhibitors for heparan sulfate sulfotransferases, offering a new set of tools to probe the structural selectivity for heparan sulfate-binding proteins.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Chemical Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Ablation of syndecan-1 in mice is a gain of function mutation that enables mice to significantly resist infection by several bacterial pathogens. Syndecan-1 shedding is induced by bacterial virulence factors, and inhibition of shedding attenuates bacterial virulence, whereas administration of purified syndecan-1 ectodomain enhances virulence, suggesting that bacteria subvert syndecan-1 ectodomains released by shedding for their pathogenesis. However, the pro-pathogenic functions of syndecan-1 ectodomain have yet to be clearly defined. Here, we examined how syndecan-1 ectodomain enhances S. aureus virulence in injured mouse corneas. We found that syndecan-1 ectodomain promotes S. aureus corneal infection in an HS-dependent manner. Surprisingly, we found that this pro-pathogenic activity is dependent on 2-O-sulfated domains in HS, indicating that the effects of syndecan-1 ectodomain are structure-based. Our results also showed that purified syndecan-1 ectodomain and heparan compounds containing 2-O-sulfate motifs inhibit S. aureus killing by antimicrobial factors secreted by degranulated neutrophils, but does not affect intracellular phagocytic killing by neutrophils. Immunodepletion of antimicrobial factors with staphylocidal activities demonstrated that CRAMP, a cationic antimicrobial peptide, is primarily responsible for S. aureus killing among other factors secreted by degranulated neutrophils. Furthermore, we found that purified syndecan-1 ectodomain and heparan compounds containing 2-O-sulfate units potently and specifically inhibit S. aureus killing by synthetic CRAMP. These results provide compelling evidence that a specific subclass of sulfate groups, and not the overall charge of HS, permits syndecan-1 ectodomains to promote S. aureus corneal infection by inhibiting a key arm of neutrophil host defense. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: A biotinylated heparosan hexasaccharide was synthesized using one-pot multi-enzyme strategy, in situ activation and transfer of N-trifluoroacetylglucosamine (GlcNTFA) to heparin backbone significantly improved the synthetic efficiency. The biotinylated hexasaccharide could serve as a flexible core to diversify its conversion into heparan sulfate isoforms with potential biological applications and therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
  • Jian Liu · Robert J Linhardt
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    ABSTRACT: Covering: up to May 2014Heparan sulfate is a polysaccharide that plays essential physiological functions in the animal kingdom. Heparin, a highly sulfated form of heparan sulfate, is a widely prescribed anticoagulant drug worldwide. The heparan sulfate and heparin isolated from natural sources are highly heterogeneous mixtures differing in their polysaccharide chain lengths and sulfation patterns. The access to structurally defined heparan sulfate and heparin is critical to probe the contribution of specific sulfated saccharide structures to the biological functions as well as for the development of the next generation of heparin-based anticoagulant drugs. The synthesis of heparan sulfate and heparin, using a purely chemical approach, has proven extremely difficult, especially for targets larger than octasaccharides having a high degree of site-specific sulfation. A new chemoenzymatic method has emerged as an effective alternative approach. This method uses recombinant heparan sulfate biosynthetic enzymes combined with unnatural uridine diphosphate-monosaccharide donors. Recent examples demonstrate the successful synthesis of ultra-low molecular weight heparin, low-molecular weight heparin and bioengineered heparin with unprecedented efficiency. The new method provides an opportunity to develop improved heparin-based therapeutics.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Natural Product Reports
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    ABSTRACT: The exquisite control of growth factor function by heparan sulfate (HS) is dictated by tremendous structural heterogeneity of sulfated modifications. How specific HS structures control growth factor-dependent progenitor expansion during organogenesis is unknown. We isolated KIT+ progenitors from fetal salivary glands during a stage of rapid progenitor expansion and profiled HS biosynthetic enzyme expression. Enzymes generating a specific type of 3-O-sulfated-HS (3-O-HS) are enriched, and fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10)/FGF receptor 2b (FGFR2b) signaling directly regulates their expression. Bioengineered 3-O-HS binds FGFR2b and stabilizes FGF10/FGFR2b complexes in a receptor- and growth factor-specific manner. Rapid autocrine feedback increases 3-O-HS, KIT, and progenitor expansion. Knockdown of multiple Hs3st isoforms limits fetal progenitor expansion but is rescued with bioengineered 3-O-HS, which also increases adult progenitor expansion. Altering specific 3-O-sulfated epitopes provides a mechanism to rapidly respond to FGFR2b signaling and control progenitor expansion. 3-O-HS may expand KIT+ progenitors in vitro for regenerative therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Developmental Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a linear polysaccharide expressed on cell surfaces, in extracellular matrices and cellular granules in metazoan cells. Through non-covalent binding to growth factors, morphogens, chemokines and other protein families, HS is involved in all multicellular physiological activities. Its biological activities depend on the fine structures of its protein-binding domains, the determination of which remains a daunting task. Methods have advanced to the point that information-rich product ion mass spectra may be produced on purified HS saccharides. However, the interpretation of these complex product ion patterns has emerged as the bottleneck to the dissemination of these HS sequencing methods. To solve this problem, we designed HS-SEQ, the first comprehensive algorithm for HS de novo sequencing using high-resolution tandem mass spectra. We tested HS-SEQ using negative electron transfer dissociation (NETD) tandem mass spectra generated from a set of pure synthetic saccharide standards with diverse sulfation patterns. The results showed that HS-SEQ rapidly and accurately determined the correct HS structures from large candidate pools.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate and heparin are highly sulfated polysaccharides that consist of a repeating disaccharide unit of glucosamine and glucuronic or iduronic acid. The 2-O-sulfated iduronic acid (IdoA2S) residue is commonly found in heparan sulfate and heparin; however, 2-O-sulfated glucuronic acid (GlcA2S) is a less abundant monosaccharide (∼<5% of total saccharides). Here, we report the synthesis of three GlcA2S-containing hexasaccharides using a chemoenzymatic approach. For comparison purposes, additional IdoA2S-containing hexasaccharides were synthesized. Nuclear magnetic resonance analyses were performed to obtain full chemical shift assignments for the GlcA2S- and IdoA2S-hexasaccharides. These data show that GlcA2S is a more structurally rigid saccharide residue than IdoA2S. The antithrombin (AT) binding affinities of a GlcA2S- and an IdoA2S-hexasaccharide were determined by affinity co-electrophoresis. In contrast to IdoA2S-hexasaccharides, the GlcA2S-hexasaccharide does not bind to AT, confirming that the presence of IdoA2S is critically important for the anticoagulant activity. The availability of pure synthetic GlcA2S-containing oligosaccharides will allow the investigation of the structure and activity relationships of individual sites in heparin or heparan sulfate.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Glycobiology
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    ABSTRACT: The chemoenzymatic synthesis of heparan sulfate tetrasaccharide (1) and hexasaccharide (2) with a fluorous tag attached at the reducing end is reported. The fluorous tert-butyl dicarbonate (FBoc) tag did not interfere with enzymatic recognition for both elongation and specific sulfation, and flash purification was performed by standard fluorous solid-phase extraction (FSPE). Based on an FBoc attached disaccharide as acceptor, a series of partial N-sulfated, 6-O-sulfated heparan sulfate oligosaccharides were successfully synthesized employing fluorous techniques.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Organic Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is an abundant polysaccharide in the animal kingdom with essential physiological functions. HS is composed of sulfated saccharides that are biosynthesized through a complex pathway involving multiple enzymes. In vivo regulation of this process remains unclear. HS 2-O-sulfotransferase (2OST) is a key enzyme in this pathway. Here, we report the crystal structure of the ternary complex of 2OST, 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate, and a heptasaccharide substrate. Utilizing site-directed mutagenesis and specific oligosaccharide substrate sequences, we probed the molecular basis of specificity and 2OST position in the ordered HS biosynthesis pathway. These studies revealed that Arg-80, Lys-350, and Arg-190 of 2OST interact with the N-sulfo groups near the modification site, consistent with the dependence of 2OST on N-sulfation. In contrast, 6-O-sulfo groups on HS are likely excluded by steric and electrostatic repulsion within the active site supporting the hypothesis that 2-O-sulfation occurs prior to 6-O-sulfation. Our results provide the structural evidence for understanding the sequence of enzymatic events in this pathway.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin, a commonly used anticoagulant drug, is a mixture of highly sulfated polysaccharides with various molecular weights. The unique sulfation pattern dictates the anticoagulant activity of heparin. Commercial heparins are categorized into three forms according to their average molecular weight (MW): unfractionated heparin (UFH, MWavg 14,000), low molecular weight heparin (LMWH, MWavg 3,500-6,500) and the synthetic pentasaccharide (fondaparinux, MW 1508.3). UFH is isolated from porcine intestine while LMWH is derived from UFH by various methods of depolymerization, which generate a wide range of oligosaccharide chain lengths. Different degradation methods result in structurally distinct LMWH products, displaying different pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties. In this report, we utilized a chemoenzymatic method to synthesize LMWH with the emphasis on controlling the size distribution of the oligosaccharides. A tetrasaccharide primer and a controlled enzyme-based polymerization were employed to build a narrow size oligosaccharide backbone. The oligosaccharide backbones were further modified by a series of sulfation and epimerization steps in order to obtain a full anticoagulation activity. Determination of the anticoagulation activity in vitro and ex vivo indicated that the synthetic LMWH has higher potency than enoxaparin, a commercial LMWH drug in clinical usage.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Glycobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) are carbohydrate-based anticoagulants clinically used to treat thrombotic disorders, but impurities, structural heterogeneity or functional irreversibility can limit treatment options. We report a series of synthetic LMWHs prepared by cost-effective chemoenzymatic methods. The high activity of one defined synthetic LMWH against human factor Xa (FXa) was reversible in vitro and in vivo using protamine, demonstrating that synthetically accessible constructs can have a critical role in the next generation of LMWHs.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Four well-defined heparan sulfate (HS) block copolymers, containing S-domains (high sulfo group content) placed adjacent to N-domains (low sulfo group content) were chemoenzymatically synthesized and characterized. The domain lengths in these HS block co-polymers were ~40 saccharide units. Microtiter 96-well and 3D cell-based microarray assays utilizing murine immortalized bone marrow (BaF3) cells were developed to evaluate the activity of these HS block co-polymers. Each recombinant BaF3 cell line expresses only a single type of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), but produces neither HS nor fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). In the presence of different FGFs, BaF3 cell-proliferation showed clear differences for the four HS block co-polymers examined. These data were used to examine the two proposed signaling models, the symmetric FGF2:HS2:FGFR2 ternary complex model and the asymmetric FGF2:HS1:FGFR2 ternary complex model. In the symmetric FGF2:HS2:FGFR2 model, two acidic HS chains bind in a basic canyon located on the top face of the FGF2-FGFR2 protein complex. In this model, the S-domains at the non-reducing ends of the two HS proteoglycan chains are proposed to interact with the FGF2-FGFR2 protein complex. In contrast, in the asymmetric FGF2:HS1:FGFR2 model, a single HS chain interacts with the FGF2-FGFR2 protein complex through a single S-domain that can be located at any position within an HS chain. Our data comparing a series of synthetically prepared HS block copolymers support a preference for the symmetric FGF2:HS2:FGFR2 ternary complex model.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Lingyun Li · Jian Liu · Robert Linhardt · Limei Xu

    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Nature Chemical Biology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
565.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002-2015
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • • Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
      • • Department of Chemistry
      North Carolina, United States
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Biological Engineering
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2007
    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
      Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
      • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
      Троя, New York, United States