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The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 283  |  Issue: 29  |  Page No.: 20547 - 20559

Dimeric Galectin-8 Induces Phosphatidylserine Exposure in Leukocytes through Polylactosamine Recognition by the C-terminal Domain

Sean R. Stowell, Connie M. Arthur, Kristin A. Slanina, John R. Horton, David F. Smith and Richard D. Cummings    

Abstract: Human galectins have distinct and overlapping biological roles in immunological homeostasis. However, the underlying differences among galectins in glycan binding specificity regulating these functions are unclear. Galectin-8 (Gal-8), a tandem repeat galectin, has two distinct carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs) that may cross-link cell surface counter receptors. Here we report that each Gal-8 CRD has differential glycan binding specificity and that cell signaling activity resides in the C-terminal CRD. Full-length Gal-8 and recombinant individual domains (Gal-8N and Gal-8C) bound to human HL60 cells, but only full-length Gal-8 signaled phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure in cells, which occurred independently of apoptosis. Although desialylation of cells did not alter Gal-8 binding, it enhanced cellular sensitivity to Gal-8-induced PS exposure. By contrast, HL60 cell desialylation increased binding by Gal-8C but reduced Gal-8N binding. Enzymatic reduction in surface poly-N-acetyllactosamine (polyLacNAc) glycans in HL60 cells reduced cell surface binding by Gal-8C but did not alter Gal-8N binding. Cross-linking and light scattering studies showed that Gal-8 is dimeric, and studies on individual subunits indicate that dimerization occurs through the Gal-8N domain. Mutations of individual domains within full-length Gal-8 showed that signaling activity toward HL60 cells resides in the C-terminal domain. In glycan microarray analyses, each CRD of Gal-8 showed different binding, with Gal-8N recognizing sulfated and sialylated glycans and Gal-8C recognizing blood group antigens and polyLacNAc glycans. These results demonstrate that Gal-8 dimerization promotes functional bivalency of each CRD, which allows Gal-8 to signal PS exposure in leukocytes entirely through C-terminal domain recognition of polyLacNAc glycans.

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