Membrane-tethered mucin-like polypeptides sterically inhibit binding and slow fusion kinetics of influenza A virus.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The mechanism(s) by which cell-tethered mucins modulate infection by influenza A viruses (IAVs) remain an open question. Mucins form both a protective barrier that can block virus binding and recruit IAVs to bind cells via the sialic acids of cell-tethered mucins. To elucidate the molecular role of mucins in flu pathogenesis, we constructed a synthetic glycocalyx to investigate membrane-tethered mucins in the context of IAV binding and fusion. We designed and synthesized lipid-tethered glycopolypeptide mimics of mucins and added them to lipid bilayers, allowing chemical control of length, glycosylation, and surface density of a model glycocalyx. We observed that the mucin mimics undergo a conformational change at high surface densities from a compact to an extended architecture. At high surface densities, asialo mucin mimics inhibited IAV binding to underlying glycolipid receptors, and this density correlated to the mucin mimic's conformational transition. Using a single virus fusion assay, we observed that while fusion of virions bound to vesicles coated with sialylated mucin mimics was possible, the kinetics of fusion was slowed in a mucin density-dependent manner. These data provide a molecular model for a protective mechanism by mucins in IAV infection, and therefore this synthetic glycocalyx provides a useful reductionist model for studying the complex interface of host-pathogen interactions.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1921962117
View details for PubMedID 32457151
N-Carboxyanhydride Polymerization of Glycopolypeptides That Activate Antigen-Presenting Cells through Dectin-1 and Dectin-2.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
2018; 57 (12): 3137–42
The C-type lectins dectin-1 and dectin-2 contribute to innate immunity against microbial pathogens by recognizing their foreign glycan structures. These receptors are promising targets for vaccine development and cancer immunotherapy. However, currently available agonists are heterogeneous glycoconjugates and polysaccharides from natural sources. Herein, we designed and synthesized the first chemically defined ligands for dectin-1 and dectin-2. They comprised glycopolypeptides bearing mono-, di-, and trisaccharides and were built through polymerization of glycosylated N-carboxyanhydrides. Through this approach, we achieved glycopolypeptides with high molecular weights and low dispersities. We identified structures that elicit a pro-inflammatory response through dectin-1 or dectin-2 in antigen-presenting cells. With their native proteinaceous backbones and natural glycosidic linkages, these agonists are attractive for translational applications.
View details for PubMedID 29370452
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5842139