Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, National Center for Functional Glycomics, CLS 11087 - 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
The glycan ligands recognized by Siglecs, influenza viruses, and galectins, as well as many plant lectins, are not well defined. To explore their binding to asparagine (Asn)-linked N-glycans, we synthesized a library of isomeric multiantennary N-glycans that vary in terminal non-reducing sialic acid, galactose, and N-acetylglucosamine residues, as well as core fucose. We identified specific recognition of N-glycans by several plant lectins, human galectins, influenza viruses, and Siglecs, and explored the influence of sialic acid linkages and branching of the N-glycans. These results show the unique recognition of complex-type N-glycans by a wide variety of glycan-binding proteins and their abilities to distinguish isomeric structures, which provides new insights into the biological roles of these proteins and the uses of lectins in biological applications to identify glycans.