SARS-CoV-2 replication in airway epithelia requires motile cilia and microvillar reprogramming.
How SARS-CoV-2 penetrates the airway barrier of mucus and periciliary mucins to infect nasal epithelium remains unclear. Using primary nasal epithelial organoid cultures, we found that the virus attaches to motile cilia via the ACE2 receptor. SARS-CoV-2 traverses the mucus layer, using motile cilia as tracks to access the cell body. Depleting cilia blocks infection for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses. SARS-CoV-2 progeny attach to airway microvilli 24h post-infection and trigger formation of apically extended and highly branched microvilli that organize viral egress from the microvilli back into the mucus layer, supporting a model of virus dispersion throughout airway tissue via mucociliary transport. Phosphoproteomics and kinase inhibition reveal that microvillar remodeling is regulated by p21-activated kinases (PAK). Importantly, Omicron variants bind with higher affinity to motile cilia and show accelerated viral entry. Our work suggests that motile cilia, microvilli, and mucociliary-dependent mucus flow are critical for efficient virus replication in nasal epithelia.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2022.11.030
View details for PubMedID 36580912
Lysosomal cathepsin D mediates endogenous mucin glycodomain catabolism in mammals.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2022; 119 (39): e2117105119
Mucins are functionally implicated in a range of human pathologies, including cystic fibrosis, influenza, bacterial endocarditis, gut dysbiosis, and cancer. These observations have motivated the study of mucin biosynthesis as well as the development of strategies for inhibition of mucin glycosylation. Mammalian pathways for mucin catabolism, however, have remained underexplored. The canonical view, derived from analysis of N-glycoproteins in human lysosomal storage disorders, is that glycan degradation and proteolysis occur sequentially. Here, we challenge this view by providing genetic and biochemical evidence supporting mammalian proteolysis of heavily O-glycosylated mucin domains without prior deglycosylation. Using activity screening coupled with mass spectrometry, we ascribed mucin-degrading activity in murine liver to the lysosomal protease cathepsin D. Glycoproteomics of substrates digested with purified human liver lysosomal cathepsin D provided direct evidence for proteolysis within densely O-glycosylated domains. Finally, knockout of cathepsin D in a murine model of the human lysosomal storage disorder neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 10 resulted in accumulation of mucins in liver-resident macrophages. Our findings imply that mucin-degrading activity is a component of endogenous pathways for glycoprotein catabolism in mammalian tissues.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2117105119
View details for PubMedID 36122205
Genome-wide bidirectional CRISPR screens identify mucins as host factors modulating SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a range of symptoms in infected individuals, from mild respiratory illness to acute respiratory distress syndrome. A systematic understanding of host factors influencing viral infection is critical to elucidate SARS-CoV-2-host interactions and the progression of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we conducted genome-wide CRISPR knockout and activation screens in human lung epithelial cells with endogenous expression of the SARS-CoV-2 entry factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2. We uncovered proviral and antiviral factors across highly interconnected host pathways, including clathrin transport, inflammatory signaling, cell-cycle regulation, and transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. We further identified mucins, a family of high molecular weight glycoproteins, as a prominent viral restriction network that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in murine models. These mucins also inhibit infection of diverse respiratory viruses. This functional landscape of SARS-CoV-2 host factors provides a physiologically relevant starting point for new host-directed therapeutics and highlights airway mucins as a host defense mechanism.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41588-022-01131-x
View details for PubMedID 35879412
Revealing the human mucinome.
2022; 13 (1): 3542
Mucin domains are densely O-glycosylated modular protein domains found in various extracellular and transmembrane proteins. Mucin-domain glycoproteins play important roles in many human diseases, such as cancer and cystic fibrosis, but the scope of the mucinome remains poorly defined. Recently, we characterized a bacterial O-glycoprotease, StcE, and demonstrated that an inactive point mutant retains binding selectivity for mucin-domain glycoproteins. In this work, we leverage inactive StcE to selectively enrich and identify mucin-domain glycoproteins from complex samples like cell lysate and crude ovarian cancer patient ascites fluid. Our enrichment strategy is further aided by an algorithm to assign confidence to mucin-domain glycoprotein identifications. This mucinomics platform facilitates detection of hundreds of glycopeptides from mucin domains and highly overlapping populations of mucin-domain glycoproteins from ovarian cancer patients. Ultimately, we demonstrate our mucinomics approach can reveal key molecular signatures of cancer from in vitro and ex vivo sources.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-31062-4
View details for PubMedID 35725833
Structure-guided mutagenesis of a mucin-selective metalloprotease from Akkermansia muciniphila alters substrate preferences.
The Journal of biological chemistry
Akkermansia muciniphila, a mucin-degrading microbe found in the human gut, is often associated with positive health outcomes. The abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila is modulated by the presence and accessibility of nutrients, which can be derived from diet or host glycoproteins. In particular, the ability to degrade host mucins, a class of proteins carrying densely O-glycosylated domains, provides a competitive advantage in the sustained colonization of niche mucosal environments. Although Akkermansia muciniphila is known to rely on mucins as a carbon and nitrogen source, the enzymatic machinery used by this microbe to process mucins in the gut is not yet fully characterized. Here, we focus on the mucin-selective metalloprotease, Amuc_0627 (AM0627), which is known to cleave between adjacent residues carrying truncated core 1 O-glycans. We showed that this enzyme is capable of degrading purified mucin 2 (MUC2), the major protein component of mucus in the gut. An X-ray crystal structure of AM0627 (1.9 A resolution) revealed O-glycan binding residues that are conserved between structurally characterized enzymes from the same family. We further rationalized the substrate cleavage motif using molecular modeling to identify nonconserved glycan-interacting residues. We conclude that mutagenesis of these residues resulted in altered substrate preferences down to the glycan level, providing insight into the structural determinants of O-glycan recognition.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101917
View details for PubMedID 35405095
Classification, structural biology, and applications of mucin domain-targeting proteases.
The Biochemical journal
2021; 478 (8): 1585–1603
Epithelial surfaces throughout the body are coated by mucins, a class of proteins carrying domains characterized by a high density of O-glycosylated serine and threonine residues. The resulting mucosal layers form crucial host-microbe interfaces that prevent the translocation of microbes while also selecting for distinct bacteria via the presented glycan repertoire. The intricate interplay between mucus production and breakdown thus determines the composition of the microbiota maintained within these mucosal environments, which can have a large influence on the host during both homeostasis and disease. Most research to date on mucus breakdown has focused on glycosidases that trim glycan structures to release monosaccharides as a source of nutrients. More recent work has uncovered the existence of mucin-type O-glycosylation-dependent proteases that are secreted by pathogens, commensals, and mutualists to facilitate mucosal colonization and penetration. Additionally, immunoglobulin A (IgA) proteases promote bacterial colonization in the presence of neutralizing secretory IgA through selective cleavage of the heavily O-glycosylated hinge region. In this review, we summarize families of O-glycoproteases and IgA proteases, discuss known structural features, and review applications of these enzymes to glycobiology.
View details for DOI 10.1042/BCJ20200607
View details for PubMedID 33909028
An enzymatic toolkit for selective proteolysis, detection, and visualization of mucin-domain glycoproteins.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Densely O-glycosylated mucin domains are found in a broad range of cell surface and secreted proteins, where they play key physiological roles. In addition, alterations in mucin expression and glycosylation are common in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases. These correlations have been challenging to uncover and establish because tools that specifically probe mucin domains are lacking. Here, we present a panel of bacterial proteases that cleave mucin domains via distinct peptide- and glycan-based motifs, generating a diverse enzymatic toolkit for mucin-selective proteolysis. By mutating catalytic residues of two such enzymes, we engineered mucin-selective binding agents with retained glycoform preferences. StcEE447D is a pan-mucin stain derived from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli that is tolerant to a wide range of glycoforms. BT4244E575A derived from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is selective for truncated, asialylated core 1 structures commonly associated with malignant and premalignant tissues. We demonstrated that these catalytically inactive point mutants enable robust detection and visualization of mucin-domain glycoproteins by flow cytometry, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Application of our enzymatic toolkit to ascites fluid and tissue slices from patients with ovarian cancer facilitated characterization of patients based on differences in mucin cleavage and expression patterns.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2012196117
View details for PubMedID 32817557