Expression of Lewis-a glycans on polymorphonuclear leukocytes augments function by increasing transmigration.

Academic Article


  • PMN-expressed fucosylated glycans from the Lewis glycan family, including Lewis-x (Lex) and sialyl Lewis-x (sLex), have previously been implicated in the regulation of important PMN functions, including selectin-mediated trafficking across vascular endothelium. Although glycans, such as Lex and sLex, which are based on the type 2 sequence (Galβ1-4GlcNAc-R), are abundant on PMNs, the presence of type 1 Galβ1-3GlcNAc-R glycans required for PMN expression of the closely related stereoisomer of Lex, termed Lewis-A (Lea), has not, to our knowledge, been reported. Here, we show that Lea is abundantly expressed by human PMNs and functionally regulates PMN migration. Using mAbs whose precise epitopes were determined using glycan array technology, Lea function was probed using Lea-selective mAbs and lectins, revealing increased PMN transmigration across model intestinal epithelia, which was independent of epithelial-expressed Lea Analyses of glycan synthetic machinery in PMNs revealed expression of β1-3 galactosyltransferase and α1-4 fucosyltransferase, which are required for Lea synthesis. Specificity of functional effects observed after ligation of Lea was confirmed by failure of anti-Lea mAbs to enhance migration using PMNs from individuals deficient in α1-4 fucosylation. These results demonstrate that Lea is expressed on human PMNs, and its specific engagement enhances PMN migration responses. We propose that PMN Lea represents a new target for modulating inflammation and regulating intestinal, innate immunity.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • mucosal inflammation, neutrophil activation, transepithelial migration, Caco-2 Cells, Coculture Techniques, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Immunity, Mucosal, Lewis Blood Group Antigens, Neutrophils, Oligosaccharides, Transendothelial and Transepithelial Migration
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 8690497
  • Author List

  • Brazil JC; Sumagin R; Stowell SR; Lee G; Louis NA; Cummings RD; Parkos CA
  • Start Page

  • 753
  • End Page

  • 762
  • Volume

  • 102
  • Issue

  • 3