Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Cleavage of the terminal N-acetylglucosamine of egg-white ovalbumin N-glycans significantly reduces IgE production and Th2 cytokine secretion.

PMID 25010643


Ovalbumin (OA) is one of the most abundant of the glycoprotein allergens, and induces a T-helper type 2 immune response that results in an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity. In this study, the terminal carbohydrates of N-glycans from intact OA were cleaved with the exoglycosidases galactosidase, mannosidase, and N-acetylglucosaminidase to generate degalactosylated-OA, demannosylated-OA, and de-N-acetylglucosaminylated-OA, respectively, in order to evaluate their role in allergenicity. The exoglycosidase digestion procedure did not result in either degradation or contamination of the three deglycosylated sample, and the digestion efficiency was confirmed by comparing the results of glycan analysis of the three exoglycosidase-treated OAs with that of glycans of intact OA. Mice were immunized with either intact or exoglycosidase-treated OAs, and their respective allergic reactions were compared. IgE production in the de-N-acetylglucosaminylated-OA group was reduced to 58.8% of that in the intact OA group. In addition, the production levels of the cytokines interleukin-4 and interleukin-5 were significantly reduced in the de-N-acetylglucosaminylated-OA group to 53.4% and 45.8% of the levels in the intact OA group, respectively. However, there were almost no changes (or only slight reductions) in the degalactosylated-OA and demannosylated-OA groups, respectively. These results indicate that cleavage of the terminal carbohydrate, and particularly N-acetylglucosamine, reduces the allergenicity of OA. This is the first report of the effect of cleavage of the terminal carbohydrate on glycoprotein allergenicity.