Galectin-9 as a Potential Modulator of Lymphocyte Adhesion to Endothelium via Binding to Blood Group H Glycan
The recruitment of leukocytes from blood is one of the most important cellular processes in response to tissue damage and inflammation. This multi-step process includes rolling leukocytes and their adhesion to endothelial cells (EC), culminating in crossing the EC barrier to reach the inflamed tissue. Galectin-8 and galectin-9 expressed on the immune system cells are part of this process and can induce cell adhesion via binding to oligolactosamine glycans. Similarly, these galectins have an order of magnitude higher affinity towards glycans of the ABH blood group system, widely represented on ECs. However, the roles of gal-8 and gal-9 as mediators of adhesion to endothelial ABH antigens are practically unknown. In this work, we investigated whether H antigen–gal-9-mediated adhesion occurred between Jurkat cells (of lymphocytic origin and known to have gal-9) and EA.hy 926 cells (immortalized endothelial cells and known to have blood group H antigen). Baseline experiments showed that Jurkat cells adhered to EA.hy 926 cells; however when these EA.hy 926 cells were defucosylated (despite the unmasking of lactosamine chains), adherence was abolished. Restoration of fucosylation by insertion of synthetic glycolipids in the form of H (type 2) trisaccharide Fucα1-2Galβ1-4GlcNAc restored adhesion. The degree of lymphocyte adhesion to native and the “H-restored” (glycolipid-loaded) EA.hy 926 cells was comparable. If this gal-9/H (type 2) interaction is similar to processes that occur in vivo, this suggests that only the short (trisaccharide) H glycan on ECs is required.