N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) are expressed by Paneth cells at the base of intestinal crypts but not in Lrg5+ stem cells. In situ glycan editing method has been applied to crypt organoids to study the effect of glycosylation on stem cell proliferation and differentiation. This method involves in situ fucosylation of cell-surface glycans, which are be used to alter cell-surface glycosylation patterns or as a fucose analog tag to visualize labelled LacNAc-containing glycoconjugates.
This approach uncovered a pattern of increased LacNAc expression on the surfaces of Paneth cells. Fucose and sialic acid editing and galectins caps terminal LacNAc residues. This capping reduces access to LacNAc on the surface of Paneth cells, resulting in deregulation of stem cell cycle and differentiation pathways. In human crypts, LacNAc capping results in hyperproliferation of nearby Lrg5+ stem cells that in turns downregulates anti-proliferative genes.
Please refer to the original paper for more information: Rouhanifard et al., 2018.
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