alpha2,3/alpha2,6-Sialylation of N-glycans: non-synonymous signals with marked developmental regulation in bovine reproductive tracts.

Abstract

The glycan part endows cellular glycoconjugates with significant potential for biological recognition. N-Glycan branches often end with alpha2,3/alpha2,6-sialylation, posing the question whether and how placement of the sialic acid at 3 - or 6 -acceptor positions of galactose has cell biological relevance. As attractive model to study developmental regulation we monitored the expression of alpha2,3/alpha2,6-sialylated determinants in fetal and adult bovine testes and ovaries by lectin histochemistry. Distinct expression patterns were detected in both organ types. Oocyte staining, as a prominent example, was restricted to the presence of alpha2,6-sialylated glycans. Treatment with sialidase abolished binding and thus excluded sulfate esters as lectin targets. We added computer simulations to rationalize the observed evidence for non-random expression of the two closely related sialylgalactose isomers. Extensive molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics calculations reveal that the seemingly minor shift of the glycosidic bond from the alpha2,3 position to the alpha2,6 configuration causes significant shape and flexibility changes. They give each disaccharide its own characteristic meaning as signal in the sugar code.

Cite this paper

@article{Siebert2006alpha23alpha26SialylationON, title={alpha2,3/alpha2,6-Sialylation of N-glycans: non-synonymous signals with marked developmental regulation in bovine reproductive tracts.}, author={H. Siebert and Jimmy Rosen and Kamil Seyrek and Herbert Kaltner and Sabine Andr{\'e} and Nicolai V. Bovin and Per-Georg Nyholm and Fred Sinowatz and Hans-Joachim Gabius}, journal={Biochimie}, year={2006}, volume={88 5}, pages={399-410} }