A platform to screen for C-type lectin receptor-binding carbohydrates and their potential for cell-specific targeting and immune modulation
M. Maglinao, M. Eriksson, M.K. Schlegel, S. Zimmermann, T. Johannssen, S. Götze, P.H. Seeberger, B. Lepenies – 2014
Myeloid C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) in innate immunity represent a superfamily of pattern recognition receptors that recognize carbohydrate structures on pathogens and self-antigens. The primary interaction of an antigen-presenting cell and a pathogen shapes the following immune response. Therefore, the identification of CLR ligands that can either enhance or modulate the immune response is of interest. We have developed a screening platform based on glycan arrays to identify immune modulatory carbohydrate ligands of CLRs. A comprehensive library of CLRs was expressed by fusing the extracellular part of each respective CLR, the part containing the carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD), to the Fc fragment of human IgG1 molecules. CLR-Fc fusion proteins display the CRD in a dimeric form, are properly glycosylated, and can be detected by a secondary antibody with a conjugated fluorophore. Thus, they are valuable tools for high-throughput screening. We were able to identify novel carbohydrate binders of CLRs using the glycan array technology. These CLR-binding carbohydrates were then covalently attached to the model antigen ovalbumin. The ovalbumin neoglycoconjugates were used in a dendritic cell/T cell co-culture assay to stimulate transgenic T cells in vitro. In addition, mice were immunized with these conjugates to analyze the immune modulatory properties of the CLR ligands in vivo. The CLR ligands induced an increased Th1 cytokine production in vitro and modulated the humoral response in vivo. The platform described here allows for the identification of CLR ligands, as well as the evaluation of each ligand's cell-specific targeting and immune modulatory properties.