The glycobiology of the cestodes, a class of parasitic flatworms, is still largely unexplored. An important cestode species is Echinococcus granulosus, the tissue-dwelling larval stage of which causes hydatid disease. The E. granulosus larva is protected from the host by a massive mucin-based extracellular matrix termed laminated layer (LL). We previously reported (Díaz et al. 2009. Biochemistry 48:11678-11691) the molecular structure of the most abundant LL O-glycans, comprising up to six monosaccharide residues. These are based on Cores 1 and 2, in cases elongated by a chain of Galpß1-3 residues, which can be capped by Galpß1-4. In addition, the Core 2 GlcNAcp residue can be decorated with the Galpß1-4Galpß1-4 disaccharide. Larger glycans also detected contained additional HexNAc residues that could not be explained by the structural repertoire described above. In this work, we elucidate, by mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), six additional glycans from the E. granulosus LL between six and eight residues in size. Their structures are related to those already described but in cases bear GlcNAcpß1-6 or Galpß1-4Galpß1-4GlcNAcpß1-6 as ramifications on the core Galpß1-3 residue. We also obtained evidence that noncore Galpß1-3 residues can be similarly ramified. Thus, the new motif together with the previous information may explain all the glycan compositions detected in the LL by MS. In addition, we show that the anti-Echinococcus monoclonal antibody E492 (Parasite Immunol 21:141, 1999) recognizes Galpß1-4Galpß1-4GlcNAcp (the blood P1-antigen motif). This explains the antibody's reactivity with a range of Echinococcus tissues, as the P1-motif is also carried on non-LL N-glycans and glycolipids from this genus.
- P-blood group antigen
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