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Identification of O-glycan Structures from Chicken Intestinal Mucins Provides Insight into Campylobactor jejuni Pathogenicity

Journal article
Authors W. B. Struwe
R. Gough
M. E. Gallagher
Diarmuid T. Kenny
S. D. Carrington
Niclas G. Karlsson
Pauline M. Rudd
Published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
Volume 14
Issue 6
Pages 1464-1477
ISSN 1535-9476
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 1464-1477
Language en
Subject categories Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The Gram-negative bacteria Campylobactor jejuni is the primary bacteria responsible for food poisoning in industrialized countries, and acute diarrheal illness is a leading cause of mortality among children in developing countries. C. jejuni are commensal in chickens. They are particularly abundant in the caecal crypts, and poultry products are commonly infected as a result of cross-contamination during processing. The interactions between C. jejuni and chicken intestinal tissues as well as the pathogenic molecular mechanisms of colonization in humans are unknown, but identifying these factors could provide potential targets to reduce the incidence of campylobacteriosis. Recently, purified chicken intestinal mucin was shown to attenuate adherence and invasion of C. jejuni in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HCT-8 in vitro, and this effect was attributed to mucin O-glycosylation. Mucins from different regions of the chicken intestine inhibited C. jejuni binding and internalization differentially, with large intestine>small intestine>caecum. Here, we use LC-MS to perform a detailed structural analysis of O-glycans released from mucins purified from chicken large intestine, small intestine, and caecum. The O-glycans identified were abundantly sulfated compared with the human intestines, and sulfate moieties were present throughout the chicken intestinal tract. Interestingly, alpha 1-2 linked fucose residues, which have a high binding affinity to C. jejuni, were identified in the small and large intestines. Additionally, N-glycolylneuraminic/N-acetylneuraminic acid containing structures present as Sda-like epitopes were identified in large intestine samples but not small intestine or caecum. O-glycan structural characterization of chicken intestinal mucins provides insights into adherence and invasion properties of C. jejuni, and may offer prospective candidate molecules aimed at reducing the incidence of infection.

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