The role of nanometer-scaled ligand patterns in polyvalent binding by large mannan-binding lectin oligomers

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Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is an important protein of the innate immune system and protects the body against infection through opsonization and activation of the complement system on surfaces with an appropriate presentation of carbohydrate ligands. The quaternary structure of human MBL is built from oligomerization of structural units into polydisperse complexes typically with three to eight structural units, each containing three lectin domains. Insight into the connection between the structure and ligand-binding properties of these oligomers has been lacking. In this article, we present an analysis of the binding to neoglycoprotein-coated surfaces by size-fractionated human MBL oligomers studied with small-angle x-ray scattering and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. The MBL oligomers bound to these surfaces mainly in two modes, with dissociation constants in the micro to nanomolar order. The binding kinetics were markedly influenced by both the density of ligands and the number of ligand-binding domains in the oligomers. These findings demonstrated that the MBL-binding kinetics are critically dependent on structural characteristics on the nanometer scale, both with regard to the dimensions of the oligomer, as well as the ligand presentation on surfaces. Therefore, our work suggested that the surface binding of MBL involves recognition of patterns with dimensions on the order of 10-20 nm. The recent understanding that the surfaces of many microbes are organized with structural features on the nanometer scale suggests that these properties of MBL ligand recognition potentially constitute an important part of the pattern-recognition ability of these polyvalent oligomers.
TidsskriftJournal of Immunology
Sider (fra-til)1292-306
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 2012

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