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Isolation, identification, and characterization of the human airway ligand for the eosinophil and mast cell immunoinhibitory receptor Siglec-8. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 04;147(4):1442-1452



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85090223610   12 Citations


BACKGROUND: The immunoinhibitory receptor Siglec-8 on the surface of human eosinophils and mast cells binds to sialic acid-containing ligands in the local milieu, resulting in eosinophil apoptosis, inhibition of mast cell degranulation, and suppression of inflammation. Siglec-8 ligands were found on postmortem human trachea and bronchi and on upper airways in 2 compartments, cartilage and submucosal glands, but they were surprisingly absent from the epithelium. We hypothesized that Siglec-8 ligands in submucosal glands and ducts are normally transported to the airway mucus layer, which is lost during tissue preparation.

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to identify the major Siglec-8 sialoglycan ligand on the mucus layer of human airways.

METHODS: Human upper airway mucus layer proteins were recovered during presurgical nasal lavage of patients at a sinus clinic. Proteins were resolved by gel electrophoresis and blotted, and Siglec-8 ligands detected. Ligands were purified by size exclusion and affinity chromatography, identified by proteomic mass spectrometry, and validated by electrophoretic and histochemical colocalization. The affinity of Siglec-8 binding to purified human airway ligand was determined by inhibition of glycan binding.

RESULTS: A Siglec-8-ligand with a molecular weight of approximately 1000 kDa was found in all patient nasal lavage samples. Purification and identification revealed deleted in malignant brain tumors 1 (DMBT1) (also known by the aliases GP340 and SALSA), a large glycoprotein with multiple O-glycosylation repeats. Immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme treatments confirmed that Siglec-8 ligand on the human airway mucus layer is an isoform of DMBT1 carrying O-linked sialylated keratan sulfate chains (DMBT1S8). Quantitative inhibition revealed that DMBT1S8 has picomolar affinity for Siglec-8.

CONCLUSION: A distinct DMBT1 isoform, DMBT1S8, is the major high-avidity ligand for Siglec-8 on human airways.

Author List

Gonzalez-Gil A, Li TA, Porell RN, Fernandes SM, Tarbox HE, Lee HS, Aoki K, Tiemeyer M, Kim J, Schnaar RL


Kazuhiro Aoki PhD Associate Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antigens, CD
Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
Calcium-Binding Proteins
DNA-Binding Proteins
Mast Cells
Nasal Lavage Fluid
Tumor Suppressor Proteins