Fruiting body development in Coprinus cinereus: regulated expression of two galectins secreted by a non-classical pathway.
Fruiting body formation in the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus is a developmental process that occurs as a response of the mycelium to external stimuli. First, localized, highly branched hyphal structures (knots) are formed as a reaction to nutritional depletion. Hyphal-knot formation is repressed by light; however, light signals are essential for the development of the hyphal knot into an embryonic fruiting body (primordium) as well as karyogamy, meiosis and fruiting body maturation. The role of the different environmental signals in the initial phases of fruiting body development was analysed. It was observed that two fungal galectins, Cgl1 and Cgl2, are differentially regulated during fruiting body formation. cgl2 expression initiated in early stages of fruiting body development (hyphal knot formation) and was maintained until maturation of the fruiting body, whereas cgl1 was specifically expressed in primordia and mature fruiting bodies. Immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy studies detected galectins within specific fruiting body tissues. They localized in the extracellular matrix and the cell wall but also in membrane-bound bodies in the cytoplasm. Heterologous expression of Cgl2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae indicated that secretion of this protein occurred independently of the classical secretory pathway. (+info)
Structure and functional analysis of the fungal galectin CGL2.
Recognition of and discrimination between potential glyco-substrates is central to the function of galectins. Here we dissect the fundamental parameters responsible for such selectivity by the fungal representative, CGL2. The 2.1 A crystal structure of CGL2 and five substrate complexes reveal that this prototype galectin achieves increased substrate specificity by accommodating substituted oligosaccharides of the mammalian blood group A/B type in an extended binding cleft. Kinetic studies on wild-type and mutant CGL2 proteins demonstrate that the tetrameric organization is essential for functionality. The geometric constraints due to the orthogonal orientation of the four binding sites have important consequences on substrate binding and selectivity. (+info)
Human galectin-2: novel inducer of T cell apoptosis with distinct profile of caspase activation.
Galectin-2 is structurally closely related to galectin-1, but has a distinct expression profile primarily confined to the gastrointestinal tract. Prominent differences in the proximal promoter regions between galectins-2 and -1 concern Sp1-, hepatocyte NF-3, and T cell-specific factor-1 binding sites. Of note, these sequence elements are positioned equally in the respective regions for human and rat galectins-2. Labeled galectin-2 binds to T cells in a beta-galactoside-specific manner. In contrast to galectin-1, the glycoproteins CD3 and CD7 are not ligands, while the shared affinity to beta1 integrin (or a closely associated glycoprotein) accounts for a substantial extent of cell surface binding. The carbohydrate-dependent binding of galectin-2 induces apoptosis in activated T cells. Fluorogenic substrate and inhibitor assays reveal involvement of caspases-3 and -9, in accordance with cleavage of the DNA fragmentation factor. Enhanced cytochrome c release, disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and an increase of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio by opposite regulation of expression of both proteins add to the evidence that the intrinsic apoptotic pathway is triggered. Cell cycle distribution and expression of regulatory proteins remained unaffected. Notably, galectins-1 and -7 reduce cyclin B1 expression, defining functional differences between the structurally closely related galectins. Cytokine secretion of activated T cells was significantly shifted to the Th2 profile. Our study thus classifies galectin-2 as proapoptotic effector for activated T cells, raising a therapeutic perspective. Of importance for understanding the complex galectin network, it teaches the lesson that selection of cell surface ligands, route of signaling, and effects on regulators of cell cycle progression are markedly different between structurally closely related galectins. (+info)
Cell surface counter receptors are essential components of the unconventional export machinery of galectin-1.
Galectin-1 is a component of the extracellular matrix as well as a ligand of cell surface counter receptors such as beta-galactoside-containing glycolipids, however, the molecular mechanism of galectin-1 secretion has remained elusive. Based on a nonbiased screen for galectin-1 export mutants we have identified 26 single amino acid changes that cause a defect of both export and binding to counter receptors. When wild-type galectin-1 was analyzed in CHO clone 13 cells, a mutant cell line incapable of expressing functional galectin-1 counter receptors, secretion was blocked. Intriguingly, we also find that a distant relative of galectin-1, the fungal lectin CGL-2, is a substrate for nonclassical export from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Alike mammalian galectin-1, a CGL-2 mutant defective in beta-galactoside binding, does not get exported from CHO cells. We conclude that the beta-galactoside binding site represents the primary targeting motif of galectins defining a galectin export machinery that makes use of beta-galactoside-containing surface molecules as export receptors for intracellular galectin-1. (+info)
Co-expression and functional interaction of silicatein with galectin: matrix-guided formation of siliceous spicules in the marine demosponge Suberites domuncula.
Sponges (phylum Porifera) of the class of Demospongiae are stabilized by a siliceous skeleton. It is composed of silica needles (spicules), which provide the morphogenetic scaffold of these metazoans. In the center of the spicules there is an axial filament that consists predominantly of silicatein, an enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of biosilica. By differential display of transcripts we identified additional proteins involved in silica formation. Two genes were isolated from the marine demosponge Suberites domuncula; one codes for a galectin and the other for a fibrillar collagen. The galectin forms aggregates to which silicatein molecules bind. The extent of the silicatein-mediated silica formation strongly increased if associated with the galectin. By applying a new and mild extraction procedure that avoids hydrogen fluoride treatment, native axial filaments were extracted from spicules of S. domuncula. These filaments contained, in addition to silicatein, the galectin and a few other proteins. Immunogold electron microscopic studies underscored the role of these additional proteins, in particular that of galectin, in spiculogenesis. Galectin, in addition to silicatein, presumably forms in the axial canal as well as on the surface of the spicules an organized net-like matrix. In the extraspicular space most of these complexes are arranged concentrically around the spicules. Taken together, these additional proteins, working together with silicatein, may also be relevant for potential (nano)-biotechnological applications of silicatein in the formation of surface coatings. Finally, we propose a scheme that outlines the matrix (galectin/silicatein)-guided appositional growth of spicules through centripetal and centrifugal synthesis and deposition of biosilica. (+info)
Human galectin-1, -2, and -4 induce surface exposure of phosphatidylserine in activated human neutrophils but not in activated T cells.
Cellular turnover is associated with exposure of surface phosphatidylserine (PS) in apoptotic cells, leading to their phagocytic recognition and removal. But recent studies indicate that surface PS exposure is not always associated with apoptosis. Here we show that several members of the human galectin family of glycan binding proteins (galectins-1, -2, and -4) induce PS exposure in a carbohydrate-dependent fashion in activated, but not resting, human neutrophils and in several leukocyte cell lines. PS exposure is not associated with apoptosis in activated neutrophils. The exposure of PS in cell lines treated with these galectins is sustained and does not affect cell viability. Unexpectedly, these galectins bind well to activated T lymphocytes, but do not induce either PS exposure or apoptosis, indicating that galectin's effects are cell specific. These results suggest novel immunoregulatory contribution of galectins in regulating leukocyte turnover independently of apoptosis. (+info)
Genetic susceptibility to myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease.
Atherosclerotic involvement in the coronary arteries, which can result in heart attack and sudden death, is a common disease and prototypic of a complex human trait. To understand its genomic basis, eight linkage studies of sibling pairs have been performed. Although there was limited inter-study concordance of important loci, two gene variants in the leukotriene pathway (ALOX5AP and LTA4) have emerged as susceptibility factors for myocardial infarction (MI). Genome-wide association studies have also been undertaken, and the pro-inflammatory cytokine lymphotoxin-alpha (LTA), and its key ligand galectin-2 (LGALS2) have been identified as genes implicated in predisposition for heart attack. By cueing into the genomic basis for low serum LDL cholesterol levels, much work has been done to advance the importance of the serine protease PCSK9, which modulates LDL receptor function. Lifelong lowered LDL cholesterol associated with PCSK9 point mutations in 2-3% of individuals have been shown to provide marked protection from coronary artery disease (CAD). Most of the success in this field has been with the phenotype of MI, which is considerably more restrictive than CAD. Four principal and interdependent processes--lipoprotein handling, endothelial integrity, arterial inflammation, and thrombosis--have been supported as important via the clustering of genes, thus far implicated in CAD susceptibility. Of note, connecting genes in a single pathway (leukotriene), of a protein and its ligand (LTAalpha) or from one disease to another [age-related macular degeneration (AMD); complement factor H (CFH)], or even three disease characterized by inflammation (MHC2) have now been reported. Although the population attributable risk for any of the genes identified to date is limited, such discovery is likely to be accelerated in the future. (+info)
Effects of lymphotoxin-alpha gene and galectin-2 gene polymorphisms on inflammatory biomarkers, cellular adhesion molecules and risk of coronary heart disease.
The pro-inflammatory cytokine LTA (lymphotoxin-alpha) has multiple functions in regulating the immune system and may contribute to inflammatory processes leading to CHD (coronary heart disease). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the common C804A (resulting in a Thr(26)-->Asp amino acid substitution) and A252G polymorphisms of the LTA gene and the C3279T polymorphism of the galectin-2 (LGALS2) gene, which affects LTA secretion, are associated with inflammatory parameters and cell adhesion molecules, and whether these polymorphisms are related to CHD in American women and men. We conducted a prospective nested case-control study within the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Among participants free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, 249 women and 266 men developed CHD during 8 and 6 years of follow-up respectively, and we matched controls 2:1 based on age and smoking. The LGALS2 gene variant was significantly associated with a decreased risk of CHD in women [odds ratio (95% confidence interval), 0.70 (0.50-0.97); P=0.03]. In addition, the LGALS2 polymorphism was directly associated with CRP (C-reactive protein) levels in cases from both studies (P<0.05). The LTA gene polymorphisms were directly associated with levels of sTNFRs (soluble tumour necrosis factor receptors) and VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) in both women and men with CHD (P<0.05). However, no overall effect was demonstrated between LTA gene polymorphisms and risk of CHD. (+info)