Immunoprotective neo-glycoproteins: Chemoenzymatic synthesis of multivalent glycomimetics for inhibition of cancer-related galectin-3
Viktoria Heine, Michaela Hovorková, Miluše Vlachová, Marcela Filipová, Ladislav Bumba, Olga Janoušková, Martin Hubálek, Josef Cvačka, Lucie Petrásková, Helena Pelantová, Vladimír Křen, Lothar Elling, Pavla Bojarová
Galectin-3 plays a crucial role in cancerogenesis; its targeting is a prospective pathway in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Multivalent presentation of glycans was shown to strongly increase the affinity of glycoconjugates to galectin-3. Further strengthening of interaction with galectin-3 may be accomplished using artificial glycomimetics with apt aryl substitutions. We established a new, as yet undescribed chemoenzymatic method to produce selective C-3-substituted N,N´-diacetyllactosamine glycomimetics and coupled them to human serum albumin. From a library of enzymes, only beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase from Talaromyces flavus was able to efficiently synthesize the C-3-propargylated disaccharide. Various aryl residues were attached to the functionalized N,N´-diacetyllactosamine via click chemistry to assess the impact of the aromatic substitution. In ELISA-type assays with galectin-3, free glycomimetics exhibited up to 43-fold stronger inhibitory potency to Gal-3 than the lactose standard. Coupling to human serum albumin afforded multivalent neo-glycoproteins with up to 4209-fold increased inhibitory potency per glycan compared to the monovalent lactose standard. Surface plasmon resonance brought further information on the kinetics of galectin-3 inhibition. The potential of prepared neo-glycoproteins to target galectin-3 was demonstrated on colorectal adenocarcinoma DLD-1 cells. We investigated the uptake of neo-glycoproteins into cells and observed limited non-specific transport into the cytoplasm. Therefore, neo-glycoproteins primarily act as efficient scavengers of exogenous galectin-3 of cancer cells, inhibiting its interaction with the cell surface, and protecting T-lymphocytes against galectin-3-induced apoptosis. The present neo-glycoproteins combine the advantage of a straightforward synthesis, selectivity, non-toxicity, and high efficiency for targeting exogenous galectin-3, with possible application in the immunomodulatory treatment of galectin-3-overexpressing cancers.
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