American Chemical Society
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Construction of a Natural Mucin Microarray and Interrogation for Biologically Relevant Glyco-Epitopes

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posted on 2012-04-03, 00:00 authored by Michelle Kilcoyne, Jared Q. Gerlach, Ronan Gough, Mary E. Gallagher, Marian Kane, Stephen D. Carrington, Lokesh Joshi
Mucins are the principal components of mucus, and mucin glycosylation has important roles in defense, microbial adhesion, immunomodulation, inflammation, and cancer. Mucin expression and glycosylation are dynamic, responding to changes in local environment and disease. Potentially hundreds of heterogeneous glycans can substitute one mucin molecule, and it is difficult to identify biologically accessible glyco-epitopes. Thirty-seven mucins, from the reproductive and gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of six species (bovine, ovine, equine, porcine, chicken, and deer) and from two human-derived cell lines, were purified. Following optimization of mucin printing and construction of a novel mucin microarray, the glycoprofiles of the whole mucins on the microarray were compared using a panel of lectins and one antibody. Accessible glyco-motifs of GI mucins varied according to species and localization of mucin origin, with terminal fucose, the sialyl T-antigen, and N-linked oligosaccharides identified as potentially important. The occurrence of T- and sialyl T-antigen varied in bovine and ovine reproductive tract mucins, and terminal N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and sulfated carbohydrates were detected. This study introduces natural mucin microarrays as an effective tool for profiling mucin glyco-epitopes and highlights their potential for discovery of biologically important motifs in bacterial–host interactions and fertility.