BBA - General Subjects (v.1860, #8)

Mechanisms of disease: The human N-glycome by Gordan Lauc; Marija Pezer; Igor Rudan; Harry Campbell (1574-1582).
The majority of human proteins are being modified by covalent attachment of complex oligosaccharides — glycans. Both glycans and polypeptide parts of a protein contribute to its structure and function, but contrary to polypeptide that is defined by the sequence of nucleotides in the corresponding gene, glycans are shaped by complex dynamic interactions between hundreds of enzymes, transcription factors, ion channels and other proteins.An overview of current knowledge about the importance of N-glycans in normal human physiology and disease mechanisms, exemplified by IgG N-glycans.Recent technological development enabled systematic analysis of glycome composition in large epidemiological cohorts and clinical studies. However, the majority of these studies is still missing any glycomic component, and consequently also lacks this layer of biological information. Individual variation in glycosylation is potentially important for individualized disease risk, disease course and response to therapy. Evidence in support of this hypothesis is accumulating, but further studies are needed to enable understanding of the role of changes in protein glycosylation in disease.Glycans are involved in virtually all physiological processes. Inter-individual variation in glycome composition is large, and these differences associate with disease risk, disease course and the response to therapy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Human glycome; Protein glycosylation; Glycosylation in disease; IgG glycosylation;

The promise of protein glycosylation for personalised medicine by Andreia Almeida; Daniel Kolarich (1583-1595).
Complex diseases such as cancer are a consequence of numerous causes. State of the art personalised medicine approaches are mostly based on evaluating patients' individual genetic background. Despite the advances of genomics it fails to take individual dynamic influences into account that contribute to the individual and unique glycomic and glycoproteomic “configurations” of every living being.Glycomic and glycoproteomic-based personalised medicine diagnostics are still in their infancies, however some initial success stories indicate that these fields are highly promising to mediate novel early diagnosis and disease stratification markers, subsequently resulting in improved patient well-being and reduced treatment costs. In this review we not only summarise current protein glycosylation based examples that substantially improve or possess great potential for personalised medicine, but also describe current limitations as well as future perspectives and challenges associated with establishing protein glycosylation aspects for this purpose.Many protein biomarkers currently in clinical use are glycoproteins, however, their glycosylation status is seldom evaluated in a clinical context. To date just few examples have already been successfully translated into clinical practice, making protein glycosylation a highly promising diagnostic target with humongous potential for personalised medicine.There is an urgent need for markers that enable the establishment of an individualised and optimised patient treatment at the earliest disease stage possible. The glycosylation status of a patient and/or specific marker proteins can provide important clues that result in improved patient management. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Glycans in personalised medicine” Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.Display Omitted
Keywords: Serum tumour markers; IgG; Cancer; Glycomics; Glycoproteomics; Personalised medicine;

Histo-blood group glycans in the context of personalized medicine by Viktoria Dotz; Manfred Wuhrer (1596-1607).
A subset of histo-blood group antigens including ABO and Lewis are oligosaccharide structures which may be conjugated to lipids or proteins. They are known to be important recognition motifs not only in the context of blood transfusions, but also in infection and cancer development.Current knowledge on the molecular background and the implication of histo-blood group glycans in the prevention and therapy of infectious and non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, is presented.Glycan-based histo-blood groups are associated with intestinal microbiota composition, the risk of various diseases as well as therapeutic success of, e.g., vaccination. Their potential as prebiotic or anti-microbial agents, as disease biomarkers and vaccine targets should be further investigated in future studies. For this, recent and future technological advancements will be of particular importance, especially with regard to the unambiguous structural characterization of the glycan portion in combination with information on the protein and lipid carriers of histo-blood group-active glycans in large cohorts.Histo-blood group glycans have a unique linking position in the complex network of genes, oncodevelopmental biological processes, and disease mechanisms. Thus, they are highly promising targets for novel approaches in the field of personalized medicine. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Blood group; Cancer; Glycan; Infection; Personalized medicine; Vaccine;

Since glycosylation depends on glycosyltransferases, glycosidases, and sugar nucleotide donors, it is susceptible to the changes associated with physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore, alterations in glycan structures may be good targets and biomarkers for monitoring health conditions. Since human aging and longevity are affected by genetic and environmental factors such as diseases, lifestyle, and social factors, a scale that reflects various environmental factors is required in the study of human aging and longevity.We herein focus on glycosylation changes elucidated by glycomic and glycoproteomic studies on aging, longevity, and age-related diseases including cognitive impairment, diabetes mellitus, and frailty. We also consider the potential of glycan structures as biomarkers and/or targets for monitoring physiological and pathophysiological changes.Glycan structures are altered in age-related diseases. These glycans and glycoproteins may be involved in the pathophysiology of these diseases and, thus, be useful diagnostic markers. Age-dependent changes in N-glycans have been reported previously in cohort studies, and characteristic N-glycans in extreme longevity have been proposed. These findings may lead to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying aging as well as the factors influencing longevity.Alterations in glycosylation may be good targets and biomarkers for monitoring health conditions, and be applicable to studies on age-related diseases and healthy aging. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Glycomics; Glycoproteomics; Glycosylation; Aging; Longevity; Biomarker;

Potential of glycosylation research in graft versus host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation by Ema Prenc; Drazen Pulanic; Maja Pucic-Bakovic; Marija Pezer; Lana Desnica; Radovan Vrhovac; Damir Nemet; Steven Z. Pavletic (1615-1622).
Glycans, complex oligosaccharides, are directly involved in almost every biological process, have a fundamental role in the immune system, and are probably involved in nearly every human disease. However, glycosylation has been greatly ignored in the area of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) and graft versus host disease (GVHD). Both acute and chronic GVHD are multisystemic debilitating immunological disturbances arising after alloHSCT.In this paper, we review the glycosylation research already done in the field of alloHSCT and GVHD and evaluate further potential of glycan analysis in GVHD by looking into resembling inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.Glycan research could bring significant improvement in alloHSCT procedure with reduction in following complications, such as GVHD. Identifying glycan patterns that induce self-tolerance and the ones that cause the auto- and allo-immune response could lead to innovative and tissue-specific immunomodulative therapy instead of the current immunosuppressive treatment, enabling preservation of the graft-versus-tumor effect. Moreover, improved glycan pattern analyses could offer a more complete assessment and greatly needed dynamic biomarkers for GVHD.This review is written with a goal to encourage glycan research in the field of alloHSCT and GVHD as a perspective tool leading to improved engraftment, discovery of much needed biomarkers for GVHD, enabling an appropriate therapy and improved monitoring of therapeutic response. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Glycan; Glycosylation; Graft versus host disease; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation;

While the underlying causes of cancer are genetic modifications, changes in cellular states mediate cancer development. Tumor cells display markedly changed glycosylation states, of which the O-GalNAc glycans called the Tn and TF antigens are particularly common. How these antigens get over-expressed is not clear. The expression levels of glycosylation enzymes fail to explain it.We describe the regulation of O-GalNAc glycosylation initiation and extension with emphasis on the initiating enzymes ppGalNAcTs (GALNTs), and introduce the GALA pathway — a change in GALNTs compartmentation within the secretory pathway that regulates Tn levels. We discuss the roles of O-GalNAc glycans and GALNTs in tumorigenic processes and finally consider diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.Contrary to a common hypothesis, short O-glycans in tumors are not the result of an incomplete glycosylation process but rather reveal the activation of regulatory pathways. Surprisingly, high Tn levels reveal a major shift in the O-glycoproteome rather than a shortening of O-glycans. These changes are driven by membrane trafficking events.Many attempts to use O-glycans for biomarker, antibody and therapeutic vaccine development have been made, but suffer limitations including poor sensitivity and/or specificity that may in part derive from lack of a mechanistic understanding. Deciphering how short O-GalNAc glycans are regulated would open new perspectives to exploit this biology for therapeutic usage. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: O-GalNAc glycosylation; Cancer; Membrane trafficking; GALNTs;

Genetic defects in the hexosamine and sialic acid biosynthesis pathway by Anke P. Willems; Baziel G.M. van Engelen; Dirk J. Lefeber (1640-1654).
Congenital disorders of glycosylation are caused by defects in the glycosylation of proteins and lipids. Classically, gene defects with multisystem disease have been identified in the ubiquitously expressed glycosyltransferases required for protein N-glycosylation. An increasing number of defects are being described in sugar supply pathways for protein glycosylation with tissue-restricted clinical symptoms.In this review, we address the hexosamine and sialic acid biosynthesis pathways in sugar metabolism. GFPT1, PGM3 and GNE are essential for synthesis of nucleotide sugars uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and cytidine-5′-monophospho-N-acetylneuraminic acid (CMP-sialic acid) as precursors for various glycosylation pathways. Defects in these enzymes result in contrasting clinical phenotypes of congenital myasthenia, immunodeficiency or adult-onset myopathy, respectively. We therefore discuss the biochemical mechanisms of known genetic defects in the hexosamine and CMP-sialic acid synthesis pathway in relation to the clinical phenotypes.Both UDP-GlcNAc and CMP-sialic acid are important precursors for diverse protein glycosylation reactions and for conversion into other nucleotide-sugars. Defects in the synthesis of these nucleotide sugars might affect a wide range of protein glycosylation reactions. Involvement of multiple glycosylation pathways might contribute to disease phenotype, but the currently available biochemical information on sugar metabolism is insufficient to understand why defects in these pathways present with tissue-specific phenotypes.Future research on the interplay between sugar metabolism and different glycosylation pathways in a tissue- and cell-specific manner will contribute to elucidation of disease mechanisms and will create new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Hexosamine biosynthesis pathway; Sialic acid synthesis; GFPT1; PGM3; GNE; Congenital disorders of glycosylation;

Immune recruitment or suppression by glycan engineering of endogenous and therapeutic antibodies by Ngoc Phuong Lan Le; Thomas A. Bowden; Weston B. Struwe; Max Crispin (1655-1668).
Human serum IgG contains multiple glycoforms which exhibit a range of binding properties to effector molecules such as cellular Fc receptors. Emerging knowledge of how the Fc glycans contribute to the antibody structure and effector functions has opened new avenues for the exploitation of defined antibody glycoforms in the treatment of diseases. Here, we review the structure and activity of antibody glycoforms and highlight developments in antibody glycoengineering by both the manipulation of the cellular glycosylation machinery and by chemoenzymatic synthesis. We discuss wide ranging applications of antibody glycoengineering in the treatment of cancer, autoimmunity and inflammation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Antibody; Glycosylation; Structure; Therapeutic antibodies; Effector function; Glycan;

UniCarbKB aims to provide a resource for the representation of mammalian glycobiology knowledge by providing a curated database of structural and experimental data, supported by a web application that allows users to easily find and view richly annotated information. The database comprises two levels of annotation (i) global-specific data of oligosaccharides released and characterised from single purified glycoproteins and (ii) information pertaining to site-specific glycan heterogeneity. Additional, contextual information is provided including structural, bibliographic, and taxonomic information for each entry.Since the launch of UniCarbKB in 2012, we have continued to improve the organisation of our data model. Recently, we have extended our pipeline to collate structural and abundance changes of oligosaccharides in different human disease states and experimental models to extend our coverage of the human glycome.In this manuscript, we demonstrate the capability of UniCarbKB to store and query relative glycan abundance data using a set of published colorectal and prostate cancer cell lines as examples. Furthermore, we outline our strategy for managing large-scale glycoproteomics data, site-specific and glycan compositional data, and how this information is adding value to UniCarbKB. Finally, we summarise our efforts to improve the efficient representation of disease terms and associated changes in glycan heterogeneity by integrating the Disease Ontology.Updates and improvements to UniCarbKB have introduced unique features for storing and displaying glycosylation features of mammalian glycoproteins. The integration of site-specific glycosylation data obtained from large-scale glycoproteomics and introduction of cell line studies will improve the analysis of glycoproteins and entire glycomes.Continuing advancements in analytical technologies and new data types are advancing disease-related glycomics. It is increasingly necessary to ensure all the data are comprehensively annotated. UniCarbKB was established with the mission of providing a resource for human glycobiology by capturing a wide range of data with corresponding annotations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Glycobioinformatics; Database; Glycoproteins; Glycans; Relative abundance; Disease; Glycomics;

Methods for the absolute quantification of N-glycan biomarkers by Juan Etxebarria; Niels-Christian Reichardt (1676-1687).
Many treatment options especially for cancer show a low efficacy for the majority of patients demanding improved biomarker panels for patient stratification. Changes in glycosylation are a hallmark of many cancers and inflammatory diseases and show great potential as clinical disease markers. The large inter-subject variability in glycosylation due to hereditary and environmental factors can complicate rapid transfer of glycan markers into the clinical practice but also presents an opportunity for personalized medicine.This review discusses opportunities of glycan biomarkers in personalized medicine and reviews the methodology for N-glycan analysis with a specific focus on methods for absolute quantification.The entry into the clinical practice of glycan markers is delayed in large part due to a lack of adequate methodology for the precise and robust quantification of protein glycosylation. Only absolute glycan quantification can provide a complete picture of the disease related changes and will provide the method robustness required by clinical applications.Glycan biomarkers have a huge potential as disease markers for personalized medicine. The use of stable isotope labeled glycans as internal standards and heavy-isotope labeling methods will provide the necessary method precision and robustness acceptable for clinical use. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Glycans in personalized medicine” Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Glycan standards; Cancer; Mass spectrometry; Personalized medicine; Isotopic dilution;

Applications of ion mobility mass spectrometry for high throughput, high resolution glycan analysis by C.J. Gray; B. Thomas; R. Upton; L.G. Migas; C.E. Eyers; P.E. Barran; S.L. Flitsch (1688-1709).
Diverse varieties of often heterogeneous glycans are ubiquitous in nature. They play critical roles in recognition events, act as energy stores and provide structural stability at both molecular and cellular levels. Technologies capable of fully elucidating the structures of glycans are far behind the other ‘-omic’ fields. Liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) are currently the most useful techniques for high-throughput analysis of glycans. However, these techniques do not provide full unambiguous structural information and instead the gap in full sequence assignment is frequently filled by a priori knowledge of the biosynthetic pathways and the assumption that these pathways are highly conserved.This comprehensive review details the rise of the emerging analytical technique ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) (coupled to MS) to facilitate the determination of three-dimensional shape: the separation and characterization of isobaric glycans, glyco(peptides/proteins), glycolipids, glycosaminoglycans and other polysaccharides; localization of sites of glycosylation; or interpretation of the conformational change to proteins upon glycan binding.IMS is a highly promising new analytical route, able to provide rapid isomeric separation (ms timescale) of either precursor or product ions facilitating MS characterization. This additional separation also enables the deconvolution of carbohydrate MS(/MS) information from contaminating ions, improving sensitivity and reducing chemical noise. Derivation of collision cross sections (CCS) from IM-MS(/MS) data and subsequent calculations validate putative structures of carbohydrates from ab initio derived candidates. IM-MS has demonstrated that amounts of specific glycan isomers vary between disease states, which would be challenging to detect using standard analytical approaches.IM-MS is a promising technique that fills an important gap within the Glycomics toolbox, namely identifying and differentiating the three-dimensional structure of chemically similar carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.Display Omitted
Keywords: Glycan analysis; Glycan sequencing; Mass spectrometry; Ion mobility spectrometry; Stereochemical configuration; Glycoconjugates;

Enrichment of hydrophobic membrane proteins using Triton X-114 and subsequent analysis of their N-glycosylation by Tamara Pavić; Ivan Gudelj; Toma Keser; Maja Pučić-Baković; Olga Gornik (1710-1715).
Numerous proteins depend on correct glycosylation for their proper function and nearly all membrane, as well as secreted, proteins are glycosylated. Glycosylation of membrane proteins plays a crucial role in many processes including the intercellular recognition and intermolecular interactions on the cell surface. The composition of N-glycans attached to membrane proteins has not been sufficiently studied due to the lack of efficient and reproducible analytical methods.The aim of this study was to optimise cloud-point extraction (CPE) of membrane proteins with the non-ionic detergent Triton X-114 and analyse their N-glycosylation using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC-UPLC). Purification of isolated proteins from the excess of detergent proved to be the key step. Therefore, several purification procedures were tested to efficiently remove detergent, while retaining maximum protein recoveries.CPE showed to be an efficient method to simultaneously extract membrane and soluble proteins, which subsequently resulted in different N-glycan profiles of the aforementioned protein groups. The resulting protocol showed satisfactory reproducibility and potential for N-glycan analysis of both membrane and intracellular (soluble) proteins from different kinds of biological material.This method can be used as a new analytical tool for reliable detection and quantification of oligomannose and complex type N-glycans attached to membrane proteins, thus serving to distinguish between differences in cell types and states.The simple method was successfully optimised to generate reliable HILIC-UPLC profiles of N-glycans released from membrane proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: N-glycosylation; Membrane proteins; Cloud-point extraction (CPE);

Understanding of the significance of posttranslational glycosylation in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is of growing importance for the investigation of the pathogenesis of AD as well as discovery research of the disease-specific serum biomarkers.We designed a standard protocol for the glycoblotting combined with MALDI-TOFMS to perform rapid and quantitative profiling of the glycan parts of glycoproteins (N-glycans) and glycosphingolipids (GSLs) using human AD's post-mortem samples such as brain tissues (dissected cerebral cortices such as frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal domains), serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).The structural profiles of the major N-glycans released from glycoproteins and the total expression levels of the glycans were found to be mostly similar between the brain tissues of the AD patients and those of the normal control group. In contrast, the expression levels of the serum and CSF protein N-glycans such as bisect-type and multiply branched glycoforms were increased significantly in AD patient group. In addition, the levels of some gangliosides such as GM1, GM2 and GM3 appeared to alter in the AD patient brain and serum samples when compared with the normal control groups.Alteration of the expression levels of major N- and GSL-glycans in human brain tissues, serum and CSF of AD patients can be monitored quantitatively by means of the glycoblotting-based standard protocols.The changes in the expression levels of the glycans derived from the human post-mortem samples uncovered by the standardized glycoblotting method provides potential serum biomarkers in central nervous system disorders and can contribute to the insight into the molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and future drug discovery. Most importantly, the present preliminary trials using human post-mortem samples of AD patients suggest that large-scale serum glycomics cohort by means of various-types of human AD patients as well as the normal control sera can facilitate the discovery research of highly sensitive and reliable serum biomarkers for an early diagnosis of AD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.Display Omitted
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Glycome; Human brain; Serum; Cerebrospinal fluid; Biomarker;

Towards personalized diagnostics via longitudinal study of the human plasma N-glycome by René Hennig; Samanta Cajic; Matthias Borowiak; Marcus Hoffmann; Robert Kottler; Udo Reichl; Erdmann Rapp (1728-1738).
Facilitated by substantial advances in analytical methods, plasma N-glycans have emerged as potential candidates for biomarkers. In the recent years, several investigations could link aberrant plasma N-glycosylation to numerous diseases. However, due to often limited specificity and sensitivity, only a very limited number of glycan biomarkers were approved by the authorities up to now. The inter-individual heterogeneity of the plasma N-glycomes might mask disease related changes in conventional large cross-sectional cohort studies, with a one-time sampling approach. But, a possible benefit of longitudinal sampling in biomarker discovery could be, that already small changes during disease progression are revealed, by monitoring the plasma N-glycome of individuals over time.To evaluate this, we collected blood plasma samples of five healthy donors over a time period of up to six years (min. 1.5 years). The plasma N-glycome was analyzed by xCGE-LIF, to investigate the intra-individual N-glycome variability over time. It is shown, that the plasma N-glycome of an individual is remarkably stable over a period of several years, and that observed small longitudinal changes are independent from seasons, but significantly correlated with lifestyle and environmental factors. Thus, the potential of future longitudinal biomarker discovery studies could be demonstrated, which is a further step towards personalized diagnostics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Glycans in personalised medicine” Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Glycomics; N-glycosylation; xCGE-LIF; Long-term stability; Longitudinal study; Personalized diagnostics;

Polysialic acid (polySia, PSA) is a unique and functionally important glycan, particularly in vertebrate brains. It is involved in higher brain functions such as learning, memory, and social behaviors. Recently, an association between several genetic variations and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ST8SIA2/STX, one of two polysialyltransferase genes in vertebrates, and psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was reported based on candidate gene approaches and genome-wide studies among normal and mental disorder patients. It is of critical importance to determine if the reported mutations and SNPs in ST8SIA2 lead to impairments of the structure and function of polySia, which is the final product of ST8SIA2. To date, however, only a few such forward-directed studies have been conducted. In addition, the molecular mechanisms underlying polySia-involved brain functions remain unknown, although polySia was shown to have an anti-adhesive effect. In this report, we review the relationships between psychiatric disorders and polySia and/or ST8SIA2, and describe a new function of polySia as a regulator of neurologically active molecules, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dopamine, which are deeply involved in psychiatric disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Glycans in personalised medicine” Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Polysialic acid; Polysialyltransferase; Psychiatric disorder; Neural cell adhesion molecule; SNPs; Schizophrenia; Bipolar disorder; Autism;

A therapeutic trial of human melanomas with combined small interfering RNAs targeting adaptor molecules p130Cas and paxillin activated under expression of ganglioside GD3 by Yusuke Makino; Kazunori Hamamura; Yoshifumi Takei; Robiul Hasan Bhuiyan; Yuki Ohkawa; Yuhsuke Ohmi; Hideyuki Nakashima; Keiko Furukawa; Koichi Furukawa (1753-1763).
We previously demonstrated that focal adhesion kinase (FAK), p130Cas and paxillin are crucially involved in the enhanced malignant properties under expression of ganglioside GD3 in melanoma cells. Therefore, molecules existing in the GD3-mediated signaling pathway could be considered as suitable targets for therapeutic intervention in malignant melanoma. The aim of this study was to determine whether blockade of p130Cas and/or paxillin by RNAi suppresses melanoma growth. We found a suitable dose (40 μM siRNA, 25 μl/tumor) of the siRNA to suppress p130Cas in the xenografts generated in nu/nu mice. Based on these results, we performed intratumoral (i.t.) treatment with anti-p130Cas and/or anti-paxillin siRNAs mixed with atelocollagen as a drug delivery system in a xenograft tumor of a human melanoma cell line, SK-MEL-28. Mixture of atelocollagen (1.75%) and an siRNA (500 or 1000 pmol/tumor) was injected into the tumors every 3 days after the first injection. An siRNA against human p130Cas markedly suppressed tumor growth of the xenograft in a dose-dependent manner, whereas siRNA against human paxillin slightly inhibited the tumor growth. A control siRNA against firefly luciferase showed no effect. To our surprise, siRNA against human p130Cas (500 or 1000 pmol/tumor) combined with siRNA against human paxillin dramatically suppressed tumor growth. In agreement with the tumor suppression effects of the anti-p130Cas siRNA, reduction in Ki-67 positive cell number as well as in p130Cas expression was demonstrated by immunohistostaining. These results suggested that blockade of GD3-mediated growth signaling pathways by siRNAs might be a novel and promising therapeutic strategy against malignant melanomas, provided signaling molecules such as p130Cas and paxillin are significantly expressed in individual cases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Melanoma; Small interfering RNA; Atelocollagen; GD3; p130Cas; Paxillin;

The development of an efficient vaccine and broadly cross-neutralizing antibodies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a priority. The heavily glycosylated viral envelope glycoprotein E1E2 complex is a candidate vaccine antigen. Bacteria-derived unmethylated CpG DNA, a potent stimulator of immune cells, is important for vaccine research.Here, the immunogenicities of wild type (WT) E1E2, five N-glycosylation site mutated E1E2 glycoproteins, and five CpG-coupled E1E2 N-glycosylation mutated glycoproteins were analyzed in BALB/c mice by DNA vaccination using in vivo electroporation.The E1E2 protein expression levels were examined and shown to be unaffected by these N-glycosylation mutations. We found that a CpG-coupled E1-N209D-E2-N430D DNA vaccine (named CpG-E1E2-M4) induced the highest cellular immune response compared to the WT E1E2, CpG-E1E2, and other mutants. Furthermore, the CpG-E1E2-M4 anti-serum effectively neutralized the infection of cell-cultured HCV (HCVcc, genotype 2a)- and HCV pseudo particles (HCVpp, genotypes 1 to 7) to Huh-7.5.1 hepatocytes. Additionally, CpG-E1E2-M4 enhanced the Interleukin-12 (IL-12) production and antigen-presenting activity of CD11c+ dendritic cells (DCs) by inducing CD4+ Th1 polarization and the production of perforin and granzyme B (GrB) in CD8+ T cells.As our knowledge this is the first study revealing that the naturally poor immunogenicity of E1E2 can be enhanced by the deletion of N-glycans combined with the addition of immune activator CpG by DNA vaccination.Deletion of N-glycans can enhance viral immunogenicity. The selected CpG-E1E2-M4 mutant is a novel potential HCV DNA vaccine that elicits enhanced CD4+ Th1 and CD8+ T cell responses and neutralizing antibody production against HCV infection. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: N-glycosylation; Hepatitis C virus; DNA vaccine; Neutralization; Cellular immune response;

Glyco-genes change expression in cancer through aberrant methylation by Aleksandar Vojta; Ivana Samaržija; Luka Bočkor; Vlatka Zoldoš (1776-1785).
Most eukaryotic proteins are modified by covalent addition of glycan molecules that considerably influence their function. Aberrant glycosylation is profoundly involved in malignant transformation, tumor progression and metastasis. Some glycan structures are tumor-specific and reflect disturbed glycan biosynthesis pathways.We analyzed DNA methylation and expression of 86 glyco-genes in melanoma, hepatocellular, breast and cervical cancers using data from publicly available databases. We also analyzed methylation datasets without the available matching expression data for glyco-genes in lung cancer, and progression of melanoma into lymph node and brain metastases.Ten glyco-genes (GALNT3, GALNT6, GALNT7, GALNT14, MGAT3, MAN1A1, MAN1C1, ST3GAL2, ST6GAL1, ST8SIA3) showing changes in both methylation and expression in the same type of cancer belong to GalNAc transferases, GlcNAc transferases, mannosidases and sialyltransferases, which is in line with changes in glycan structures already reported in the same type of tumors. Some of those genes were additionally identified as potentially valuable for disease prognosis. The MGAT5B gene, so far identified as specifically expressed in brain, emerged as a novel candidate gene that is epigenetically dysregulated in different cancers other than brain cancer. We also report for the first time aberrant expression of the GALNT and MAN genes in cancer by aberrant promoter methylation.Aberrant expression of glyco-genes due to aberrant promoter methylation could be a way leading to characteristic glycosylation profiles commonly described in cancer.Methylation status in promoters of candidate glyco-genes might serve as prognostic markers for specific tumors and point to potential novel targets for epigenetic drugs.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: DNA methylation; Gene expression; Cancer; Epigenetics; Protein glycosylation;

IgG and IgM glycosylation patterns in patients undergoing image-guided tumor ablation by Lucas D. Breen; Maja Pučić-Baković; Frano Vučković; Karli Reiding; Irena Trbojević-Akmačić; Martina Šrajer Gajdošik; Madeleine I. Cook; Michael J. Lopez; Manfred Wuhrer; L.M. Camara; Uroš Andjelković; Damian E. Dupuy; Djuro Josić (1786-1794).
Image-guided tumor ablation is a technique whereby needle-like applicators are placed directly into solid tumors under guidance typically with computed tomography or ultrasound. Changes in IgG and IgM antibody glycosylation were studied during ablation-induced immune response to cancer, and the use of glycosylation as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis and disease treatment was examined.Plasma from 27 tumor patients was collected immediately before, after and for 6 months following ablation. IgG and IgM antibodies were isolated by use high-throughput chromatography, and analyzed by hydrophilic liquid chromatography. Thorough identification of glycan structures in each chromatography peak was performed by nano-liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.Although antibody glycosylation was found to vary with cancer type, discernable patterns of change based on the successful treatment of tumors by ablation were not identified. One patient with renal clear cell carcinoma and poor disease outcome had unexpectedly high amount of oligomannose IgG glycans during the whole period of monitoring. In contrast, IgM antibodies did not follow the same pattern.These findings suggest that glycosylation patterns are indicative of an immune system that is unable to prevent different types of cancer, rather than products of the immunostimulatory response to the ablation of tumor itself. Analyses of the outcome effect suggested that IgG glycosylation and IgM glycosylation are not associated with tumor ablation.Present work opens a new way for parallel determination of glycosylation changes of both IgG and IgM antibodies by use of high-throughput methods, and their future use as biomarkers for disease diagnosis and prognosis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: Tumor ablation; IgG; IgM; Glycosylation;

Glycomic analysis of gastric carcinoma cells discloses glycans as modulators of RON receptor tyrosine kinase activation in cancer by Stefan Mereiter; Ana Magalhães; Barbara Adamczyk; Chunsheng Jin; Andreia Almeida; Lylia Drici; Maria Ibáñez-Vea; Catarina Gomes; José A. Ferreira; Luis P. Afonso; Lúcio L. Santos; Martin R. Larsen; Daniel Kolarich; Niclas G. Karlsson; Celso A. Reis (1795-1808).
Terminal α2-3 and α2-6 sialylation of glycans precludes further chain elongation, leading to the biosynthesis of cancer relevant epitopes such as sialyl-Lewis X (SLeX). SLeX overexpression is associated with tumor aggressive phenotype and patients' poor prognosis.MKN45 gastric carcinoma cells transfected with the sialyltransferase ST3GAL4 were established as a model overexpressing sialylated terminal glycans. We have evaluated at the structural level the glycome and the sialoproteome of this gastric cancer cell line applying liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. We further validated an identified target expression by proximity ligation assay in gastric tumors.Our results showed that ST3GAL4 overexpression leads to several glycosylation alterations, including reduced O-glycan extension and decreased bisected and increased branched N-glycans. A shift from α2-6 towards α2-3 linked sialylated N-glycans was also observed. Sialoproteomic analysis further identified 47 proteins with significantly increased sialylated N-glycans. These included integrins, insulin receptor, carcinoembryonic antigens and RON receptor tyrosine kinase, which are proteins known to be key players in malignancy. Further analysis of RON confirmed its modification with SLeX and the concomitant activation. SLeX and RON co-expression was validated in gastric tumors.The overexpression of ST3GAL4 interferes with the overall glycophenotype of cancer cells affecting a multitude of key proteins involved in malignancy. Aberrant glycosylation of the RON receptor was shown as an alternative mechanism of oncogenic activation.This study provides novel targets and points to an integrative tumor glycomic/proteomic-profiling for gastric cancer patients' stratification. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Glycans in personalised medicine" Guest Editor: Professor Gordan Lauc.
Keywords: ST3GAL4; Sialyl Lewis X (SLeX); RON; Gastric cancer; Glycome; Sialome;