(1/69) Forssman penta- and tetraglycosylceramide are xenoantigens of ostrich kidney and liver.

The heterophile antigens Galalpha1-->3Gal and N-glycolylneuraminic acid are the major obstacle to grafting mammal organs, especially from pig, to man. Lack of expression of these common xenoantigens by birds has raised interest in ostrich as a potential organ donor for xenotransplantation. Glycosphingolipids of ostrich liver and kidney were investigated for their carbohydrate determinants. Both organs were found similar in their glycolipid composition with three major species, mono-, di-, and pentaglycosylceramide. The pentaglycosylceramide was characterized as the Forssman antigen. In both organs, the ceramide portion was highly hydroxylated with prevalence of alpha-hydroxylated fatty acids, C18 phytosphingosine in kidney and C18 sphingosine in liver Forssman glycolipid. These data indicate that hydroxylation of kidney glycosphingolipids, which is found in mammals, has been maintained since the divergence of birds from other vertebrates. Characterization of a minor glycolipid as a Forssman tetraglycosylceramide built on the galabiosylceramide core indicates that the Forssman tetraglycosylceramide also exists in vivo. Its precursors, galactosyl- and galabiosylceramide, were characterized in kidney and liver. The Forssman antigen is the third heterophile antigen against which man raises natural antibodies. Its localization in the vascular endothelium and connective tissue makes ostrich an unpromising organ or cell donor for xenotransplantation to man.  (+info)

(2/69) Molecular modeling of glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of blood group A, blood group B, Forssman, and iGb3 antigens and their interaction with substrates.

A terminal alpha1-3 linked Gal or GalNAc sugar residue is the common structure found in several oligosaccharide antigens, such as blood groups A and B, the xeno-antigen, the Forssman antigen, and the isogloboside 3 (iGb3) glycolipid. The enzymes involved in the addition of this residue display strong amino acid sequence similarities, suggesting a common fold. From a recently solved crystal structure of the bovine alpha3-galactosyltransferase complexed with UDP, homology modeling methods were used to build the four other enzymes of this family in their locked conformation. Nucleotide-sugars, the Mn2+ ion, and oligosaccharide acceptors were docked in the models. Nine different amino acid regions are involved in the substrate binding sites. After geometry optimization of the complexes and analysis of the predicted structures, the basis of the specificities can be rationalized. In the nucleotide-sugar binding site, the specificity between Gal or GalNAc transferase activity is due to the relative size of two clue amino acids. In the acceptor site, the presence of up to three tryptophan residues define the complexity of the oligosaccharide that can be specifically recognized. The modeling study helps in rationalizing the crystallographic data obtained in this family and provides insights on the basis of substrate and donor recognition.  (+info)

(3/69) Inhibition of complement activation by recombinant Sh-CRIT-ed1 analogues.

Sh-CRIT-ed1 is a potent anti-complement peptide that inhibits the classical complement-activation pathway by interfering with the formation of the C3-convertase complex, C4b2a. C2 is an essential serum glycoprotein that provides the catalytic subunit of the C3 and C5 convertases of the classical pathways of complement activation. Because only in its C4-bound state is C2a capable of cleaving its physiological protein substrates C3 and C5, the interaction of Sh-CRIT-ed1 with C2 plays a decisive role of inhibition in the classical complement-activation process. However, the role of individual Sh-CRIT-ed1 amino acid residues in C2 binding is not fully understood. We constructed nine recombinant Sh-CRIT-ed1 (rSh1) analogues, substituted at conserved residues, and evaluated their anti-complement and C2-binding activities. Results from glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down and haemolytic assays suggested that residues 10K, 17E, 19K and 26Y are critical for the interaction of rSh1 with C2. We then constructed an improved anti-complement peptide by duplicating Sh-CRIT-ed1 C-terminal motifs (17H-26Y). This linear homodimer (rH17d) was more potent than rSh1 with respect to binding to C2 and anti-complement activity (the 50% inhibitory concentration value was approximately equal 1.2 micro m versus approximately equal 6.02 micro m for rSh1). Furthermore, rH17d showed higher anti-complement activity in vivo, providing additional evidence that this duplication is a more effective inhibitor of complement activation than rSh1. Taken together, these results identify four key residues in rSh1 and strongly suggest that rH17d is a potent inhibitor of complement activation that may have therapeutic applications.  (+info)

(4/69) Role of the pneumococcal autolysin (murein hydrolase) in the release of progeny bacteriophage and in the bacteriophage-induced lysis of the host cells.

The pneumococcal bacteriophage Dp-1 seems to require the activity of the N-acetylmuramic acid-L-alanine amidase of the host bacterium for the liberation of phage progeny into the medium. This conclusion is based on a series of observations indicating that the exit of progeny phage particles is prevented by conditions that specifically inhibit the activity of the pneumococcal autolysin. These inhibitory conditions are as follows: (i) growth of the bacteria on ethanolamine-containing medium; (ii) growth of the cells at pH values that inhibit penicillin-induced lysis of pneumococcal cultures and lysis in the stationary phase of growth; (iii) addition of trypsin or the autolysin-inhibitory pneumococcal Forssman antigen (lipoteichoric acid) to the growth medium before lysis; (iv) infection of an autolysin-defective pneumococcal mutant at a multiplicity of infection less than 10 (treatment of such infected mutant bacteria with wild-type autolysin from without can liberate the entrapped progeny phage particles); (v) release of phage particles and culture lysis can also be inhibited by the addition of chloramphenicol to infected cultures just before the time at which lysis would normally occur. Bacteria infected with Dp-1 under conditions nonpermissive for culture lysis and phage release secrete into the growth medium a substantial portion of their cellular Forssman antigen in the form of a macromolecular complex that has autolysin-inhibitory activity. We suggest that a phage product may trigger the bacterial autolysin by a mechanism similar to that operating during treatment of pneumococci with penicillin (Tomasz and Waks, 1975).  (+info)

(5/69) The 5T4 oncofoetal antigen is an early differentiation marker of mouse ES cells and its absence is a useful means to assess pluripotency.

5T4 oncotrophoblast antigen is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed by trophoblast and many carcinomas but not most normal adult tissues. Results from overexpression of human and mouse 5T4 cDNA in cell lines are consistent with it having an influence on adhesion, shape and motility. We show that murine embryonic stem cell lines are 5T4 negative but that there is rapid up regulation of protein and transcripts upon differentiation, including derivatives of each primary germ layer, as evidenced by cell surface FACS, western and RT-PCR analyses. The kinetics of differentiation and 5T4 expression are closely correlated, with early events linking 5T4 expression to changes in motility and morphology. Comparison of 5T4 expression with other ES cell transcript (Oct 3/4; Rex-1) and antigen markers (Forsmann, SSEA-1) establishes 5T4 as a useful marker for the non-destructive detection of early differentiation of ES cells. For example, 'undifferentiated' ES phenotype defined as SSEA-1 positive and 5T4 negative is seven times more efficient at chimera formation than SSEA-1-positive/5T4-positive cells. Thus, 5T4 glycoprotein expression is associated with early differentiative events of ES cells involving altered motility, and it has useful practical consequences for assessing ES potency and studying similar processes in development and metastasis.  (+info)

(6/69) The parasitic trematode Fasciola hepatica exhibits mammalian-type glycolipids as well as Gal(beta1-6)Gal-terminating glycolipids that account for cestode serological cross-reactivity.

Neutral glycosphingolipids from sheep-derived Fasciola hepatica liver flukes were isolated and characterized both structurally and serologically. After HPLC fractionation, glycolipids were analyzed by linkage analysis, enzymatic cleavage, and MALDI-TOF as well as electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Obtained results revealed the presence of two types of neutral glycolipids. The first group represented mammalian-type species comprising globo- and isoglobotriaosylceramides (Gal(alpha1-4)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide and Gal(alpha1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide, respectively) as well as Forssman antigen (GalNAc(alpha1-3)GalNAc(beta1-3/4)Gal(alpha1-4/3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide). Applying Helix pomatia agglutinin, recognizing terminal alpha-linked GalNAc, to cryosections of adult flukes, the latter glycolipid could be localized to the F. hepatica gut. As Forssman antigen from the parasite and sheep host led to identical MALDI-TOF MS profiles, this glycolipid might be acquired from the definitive host. As a second group, highly antigenic glycolipids were structurally characterized as Gal(beta1-6)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide, Gal(beta1-6)Gal(alpha1-3/4)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide and Gal(beta1-6)Gal(beta1-6)Gal(alpha1-3/4)Gal(beta1-4)Glc(1-1)ceramide, the latter two structures of which exhibited both isoglobo- or globo-series core structures. Terminal Gal(beta1-6)Gal1-motifs have previously been shown to represent antigenic epitopes of neogala-series glycosphingolipids from tape worms. Using human Echinococcus granulosus infection sera, Gal(beta1-6)Gal-terminating glycolipids could be allocated to the gut in adult liver fluke cryosections. Corresponding neogala-reactive antibodies in F. hepatica infection serum were detected by their binding to E. granulosus and Taenia crassiceps neogala-glycosphingolipids. These antibodies might contribute to the known serological cross-reactivity between F. hepatica and parasitic cestode infections.  (+info)

(7/69) Pharmacological studies on 6-amidino-2-naphthyl[4-(4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)amino] benzoate dimethane sulfonate (FUT-187). I: Inhibitory activities on various kinds of enzymes in vitro and anticomplement activity in vivo.

FUT-187, a newly synthesized compound, was studied on its inhibitory activities mainly on proteolytic enzymes, in comparison with those of FUT-175 and FOY-305, known serine protease inhibitors. FUT-187, as well as FUT-175 and FOY-305, had selective inhibitory activities on serine proteases including Clr, Cls, kallikrein, trypsin, plasmin and thrombin; its activities on these enzymes except Clr and pancreatic kallikrein were relatively lower than those of FUT-175 and FOY-305. Further studies were conducted focusing on complement-mediated reactions. In spite of its lower activities against Clr and Cls, inhibitions by FUT-187 on the complement-mediated hemolysis in vitro and in vivo were only a little weaker than or equivalent to that of FUT-175. FOY-305 was ineffective in these tests. Forssman shock in guinea pigs is known to be initiated by the activation of the complement system. The protective effect of intravenous or oral FUT-187 against this shock was definitely superior to that of FUT-175. Furthermore, FUT-187 inhibited changes accompanied with Forssman shock, such as increase in lung weight, the decrease in platelet counts and CH50, and histopathological changes. These results suggested that FUT-187 should be a more potent oral therapeutic agent than FUT-175 for various inflammatory diseases attributed to the excessive activation of the complement system followed by platelet aggregation.  (+info)

(8/69) Long-term evolution of the CAZY glycosyltransferase 6 (ABO) gene family from fishes to mammals--a birth-and-death evolution model.

Functional glycosyltransferase 6 (GT6) family members catalyze the transfer of galactose or N-acetylgalactosamine in alpha1,3 linkage to various substrates and synthesize structures related to the A and B histo-blood group antigens, the Forssman antigen, alphaGal epitope, and iGb3 glycolipid. In rat, mouse, dog, and cow genomes, we have identified three new mammalian genes (GT6m5, GT6m6, and GT6m7) encoding putative proteins belonging to the GT6 family. Among these, GT6m6 protein does not display major alterations of the GT6 motifs involved in binding of the divalent cation and the substrate. Based on protein sequence comparison, gene structure, and synteny, GT6 homologous sequences were also identified in bird, fish, and amphibian genomes. Strikingly, the number and type of GT6 genes varied widely from species to species, even within phylogenetically related groups. In human, except ABO functional alleles, all other GT6 genes are either absent or nonfunctional. Human, mouse, and cow have only one ABO gene, whereas rat and dog have several. In the chicken, the Forssman synthase-like is the single GT6 family member. Five Forssman synthase-like genes were found in zebrafish, but are absent from three other fishes (fugu, puffer fish, and medaka). Two iGb3 synthase-like genes were found in medaka, which are absent from zebrafish. Fugu, puffer fish, and medaka have an additional GT6 gene that we termed GT6m8, which is absent from all other species analyzed here. These observations indicate that individual GT6 genes have expanded and contracted by recurrent duplications and deletions during vertebrate evolution, following a birth-and-death evolution type.  (+info)