Expression of Schistosome-derived Omega-1 with diantennary N-glycans carrying Lewis X motifs in Nicotiana benthamiana plants

R.H.P. Wilbers, L.B. Westerhof, D.R. van Raaij, E. Capuder, A. van der Schuren, D. Nguyen, L. Hussaarts, N. Driessen, C.H. Hokke, M. Yazdanbakhsh, D. Bosch, A. Schots

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Omega-1 is a T2 ribonuclease (RNase) secreted by Schistosoma mansoni eggs and is a key factor for the induction of Th2 cell differentiation. Induction of Th2 responses by omega-1 is dependent on its RNase activity as well as the N-glycan mediated internalisation by antigen presenting cells. Omega-1 carries two core-difucosylated diantennary N-glycans containing terminal Lewis X motifs. Lewis X is known to be an immunomodulatory glycan due to its interaction with DC-SIGN. However, the main receptor required for omega-1 induced Th2 polarisation was shown to be the mannose receptor. The exact role of N-glycans on the immunomodulatory properties of helminth secreted glycoproteins remains to be elucidated. As the purification of a single glycoprotein from Schistosome egg extracts is relatively inefficient, a platform is required that enables high expression of these helminth glycoproteins with their native N¬-glycan structures. Here we show that Schistosome-derived omega-1 can be efficiently produced in Nicotiana benthamiana plants by means of agroinfiltration. Omega-1 was purified from the intercellular space (apoplast) of Nicotiana benthamiana leafs and was shown to have RNase activity. Omega-1 produced in wild-type plants carried diantennary N-glycans containing typical plant ß1,2-xylose and core a1,3-fucose, but lacked terminal GlcNAc's. By the controlled co-expression of two glycosyltransferases, omega-1 could be engineered to carry terminal Lewis X motifs. Furthermore, both wild-type omega-1 and omega-1 carrying Lewis X motifs were able to induce Th2 cell polarisation. All-in-all our results demonstrate that plants are a promising platform for the expression of helminth glycoproteins carrying engineered N-glycans, which opens up a new field of research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths VIII
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventMolecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths VIII - Hydra, Greece
Duration: 1 Sept 20146 Sept 2014


ConferenceMolecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths VIII


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