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Feb 2015 Nature communications

Pre-B cell receptor binding to galectin-1 modifies galectin-1/carbohydrate affinity to modulate specific galectin-1/glycan lattice interactions.


Bonzi J, Bornet O, Betzi S, Kasper BT, Mahal LK, Mancini SJ, Schiff C, Sebban-Kreuzer C, Guerlesquin F, Elantak L


Galectins are glycan-binding proteins involved in various biological processes including cell/cell interactions. During B-cell development, bone marrow stromal cells secreting galectin-1 (GAL1) constitute a specific niche for pre-BII cells. Besides binding glycans, GAL1 is also a pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) ligand that induces receptor clustering, the first checkpoint of B-cell differentiation. The GAL1/pre-BCR interaction is the first example of a GAL1/unglycosylated protein interaction in the extracellular compartment. Here we show that GAL1/pre-BCR interaction modifies GAL1/glycan affinity and particularly inhibits binding to LacNAc containing epitopes. GAL1/pre-BCR interaction induces local conformational changes in the GAL1 carbohydrate-binding site generating a reduction in GAL1/glycan affinity. This fine tuning of GAL1/glycan interactions may be a strategic mechanism for allowing pre-BCR clustering and pre-BII cells departure from their niche. Altogether, our data suggest a novel mechanism for a cell to modify the equilibrium of the GAL1/glycan lattice involving GAL1/unglycosylated protein interactions.

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