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Fucosylated surfactant protein-D is a biomarker candidate for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Journal of proteomics (2015-07-25)
Emi Ito, Ritsuko Oka, Takeo Ishii, Hiroaki Korekane, Ayako Kurimoto, Yasuhiko Kizuka, Shinobu Kitazume, Shigeru Ariki, Motoko Takahashi, Yoshio Kuroki, Kozui Kida, Naoyuki Taniguchi
ABSTRACT

We previously reported that knockout mice for α1,6-fucosyltransferase (Fut8), which catalyzes the biosynthesis of core-fucose in N-glycans, develop emphysema and that Fut8 heterozygous knockout mice are more sensitive to cigarette smoke-induced emphysema than wild-type mice. Moreover, a lower FUT8 activity was found to be associated with a faster decline in lung function among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. These results led us to hypothesize that core-fucosylation levels in a glycoprotein could be used as a biomarker for COPD. We focused on a lung-specific glycoprotein, surfactant protein D (SP-D), which plays a role in immune responses and is present in the distal airways, alveoli, and blood circulation. The results of a glycomic analysis reported herein demonstrate the presence of a core-fucose in an N-glycan on enriched SP-D from pooled human sera. We developed an antibody-lectin enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for assessing fucosylation (core-fucose and α1,3/4 fucose) in COPD patients. The results indicate that fucosylation levels in serum SP-D are significantly higher in COPD patients than in non-COPD smokers. The severity of emphysema was positively associated with fucosylation levels in serum SP-D in smokers. Our findings suggest that increased fucosylation levels in serum SP-D are associated with the development of COPD. It has been proposed that serum SP-D concentrations are predictive of COPD pathogenesis, but distinguishing between COPD patients and healthy individuals to establish a clear cut-off value is difficult because smoking status highly affects circulating SP-D levels. Herein, we focused on N-glycosylation in SP-D and examined whether or not N-glycosylation patterns in SP-D are associated with the pathogenesis of COPD. We performed an N-glycomic analysis of human serum SP-D and the results show that a core-fucose is present in its N-glycan. We also found that the N-glycosylation in serum SP-D was indeed altered in COPD, that is, fucosylation levels including core-fucosylation are significantly increased in COPD patients compared with non-COPD smokers. The severity of emphysema was positively associated with fucosylation levels in serum SP-D in smokers. Our findings shed new light on the discovery and/or development of a useful biomarker based on glycosylation changes for diagnosing COPD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: HUPO 2014.

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