Mottram L, Liu J, Chavan S, Tobias J, Svennerholm AM, Holgersson J
Sci Rep 8 (1) 11250 [2018-07-26; online 2018-07-26]
We have previously reported clinical data to suggest that colonization factor I (CFA/I) fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) can bind to Lewis a (Le a), a glycan epitope ubiquitous in the small intestinal mucosa of young children (<2 years of age), and individuals with a genetic mutation of FUT2. To further elucidate the physiological binding properties of this interaction, we engineered Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO-K1) cells to express Lea or Leb determinants on both N- and O-glycans. We used our glyco-engineered CHO-K1 cell lines to demonstrate that CfaB, the major subunit of ETEC CFA/I fimbriae, as well as four related ETEC fimbriae, bind more to our CHO-K1 cell-line expressing Lea, compared to cells carrying Leb or the CHO-K1 wild-type glycan phenotype. Furthermore, using in-silico docking analysis, we predict up to three amino acids (Glu25, Asn27, Thr29) found in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like groove region of CfaB of CFA/I and related fimbriae, could be important for the preferential and higher affinity binding of CFA/I fimbriae to the potentially structurally flexible Lea glycan. These findings may lead to a better molecular understanding of ETEC pathogenesis, aiding in the development of vaccines and/or anti-infection therapeutics.