N-acetylglucosamine-bearing polymers mimicking O-GlcNAc-modified proteins elicit anti-fibrotic activities in myofibroblasts and activated stellate cells

Hirohiko Ise, Yusaku Araki, Inu Song, Gen Akatsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc)-modified proteins are post-translationally modified with GlcNAc conjugated to serine and threonine residues. This modification is associated with various physiological functions such as serine and threonine phosphorylation and Notch signaling. Here, we demonstrated that O-GlcNAc-modified proteins leaked from dead cells and GlcNAc-bearing polymers mimicking the multivalent GlcNAc moiety of these proteins induced anti-fibrotic activities, such as the suppression of α-smooth muscle actin and collagen and the induction of matrix metalloprotease 1 in myofibroblasts. We have previously reported that O-GlcNAc-modified proteins and GlcNAc-bearing polymers could interact with cell surface vimentin and desmin. In the current study, it was demonstrated that a multivalent GlcNAc moiety structure of these molecules activated PI3K/Akt and p38MAPK pathway and elicited these anti-fibrotic activities in myofibroblasts by interacting with cell surface vimentin. Since the interaction of O-GlcNAc-modified proteins with desmin was observed in the fibrotic liver of carbon tetrachloride-treated mice via an in situ proximity ligation assay, it was assumed that the activated stellate cells could bind to the O-GlcNAc-modified proteins from the damaged hepatocytes. In addition, the administration of anti-O-GlcNAc antibody to inhibit the interaction exacerbated liver fibrosis in the mice. Moreover, administration of the GlcNAc-bearing polymers into carbon tetrachloride-treated mice could ameliorate liver fibrosis. Thus, O-GlcNAc-modified proteins leaked from dead cells can interact with myofibroblasts and activated stellate cells and function as fibrosis suppressors. Moreover, we anticipate that GlcNAc-bearing polymers mimicking O-GlcNAc-modified proteins will be applied as novel therapeutic tools for fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-37
Number of pages21
JournalGlycobiology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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