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      Distribution of Glycan Motifs at the Surface of Midgut Cells in the Cotton Leafworm ( Spodoptera littoralis) Demonstrated by Lectin Binding

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          Glycans are involved in many biological phenomena, including signal transduction, cell adhesion, immune response or differentiation. Although a few papers have reported on the role of glycans in the development and proper functioning of the insect midgut, no data are available regarding the localization of the glycan structures on the surface of the cells in the gut of insects. In this paper, we analyzed the spatial distribution of glycans present on the surface of the midgut cells in larvae of the cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis, an important agricultural pest insect worldwide. For this purpose, we established primary midgut cell cultures, probed these individual cells that are freely suspended in liquid medium with a selection of seven fluorescently labeled lectins covering a range of different carbohydrate binding specificities [mannose oligomers (GNA and HHA), GalNAc/Gal (RSA and SSA), GlcNAc (WGA and Nictaba) and Neu5Ac(α-2,6)Gal/GalNAc (SNA-I)], and visualized the interaction of these lectins with the different zones of the midgut cells using confocal microscopy. Our analysis focused on the typical differentiated columnar cells with a microvillar brush border at their apical side, which are dominantly present in the Lepidopteran midgut and function in food digestion and absorption, and as well as on the undifferentiated stem cells that are important for midgut development and repair. Confocal microscopy analyses showed that the GalNAc/Gal-binding lectins SSA and RSA and the terminal GlcNAc-recognizing WGA bound preferentially to the apical microvillar zone of the differentiated columnar cells as compared to the basolateral pole. The reverse result was observed for the mannose-binding lectins GNA and HHA, as well as Nictaba that binds preferentially to GlcNAc oligomers. Furthermore, differences in lectin binding to the basal and lateral zones of the cell membranes of the columnar cells were apparent. In the midgut stem cells, GNA and Nictaba bound more strongly to the membrane of these undifferentiated cells compared to the microvillar pole of the columnar cells, while SSA, HHA, WGA, and SNA-I showed stronger binding to the microvilli. Our results indicated that polarization of the midgut cells is also reflected by a specific distribution of glycans, especially between the basal and microvillar pole. The data are discussed in relation to the functioning and development of the insect midgut.

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          Most cited references 89

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          Mechanisms and principles of N-linked protein glycosylation.

          N-linked glycosylation, a protein modification system present in all domains of life, is characterized by a high structural diversity of N-linked glycans found among different species and by a large number of proteins that are glycosylated. Based on structural, functional, and phylogenetic approaches, this review discusses the highly conserved processes that are at the basis of this unique general protein modification system. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            New insights into peritrophic matrix synthesis, architecture, and function.

            The peritrophic matrix (PM) is a chitin and glycoprotein layer that lines the invertebrate midgut. Although structurally different, it is functionally similar to the mucous secretions of the vertebrate digestive tract. The PM is a physical barrier, protecting the midgut epithelium from abrasive food particles, digestive enzymes, and pathogens infectious per os. It is also a biochemical barrier, sequestering and, in some cases, inactivating ingested toxins. Finally, the PM compartmentalizes digestive processes, allowing for efficient nutrient acquisition and reuse of hydrolytic enzymes. The PM consists of an organized lattice of chitin fibrils held together by chitin binding proteins. Glycans fill the interstitial spaces, creating a molecular sieve, the properties of which are dependent on the immediate ion content and pH. In this review, we have integrated recent structural and functional information to create a holistic model for the PM. We also show how this information may generate novel technologies for use in insect pest management.
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              Chemical diversity in the sialic acids and related alpha-keto acids: an evolutionary perspective.


                Author and article information

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physiol.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                08 December 2017
                : 8
                1Department of Crop Protection, Ghent University , Ghent, Belgium
                2Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University , Ghent, Belgium
                Author notes

                Edited by: Arash Zibaee, University of Gilan, Iran

                Reviewed by: Samar Ramzi, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Iran; Daniel Doucet, Natural Resources Canada, Canada

                *Correspondence: Guy Smagghe guy.smagghe@ 123456ugent.be

                This article was submitted to Invertebrate Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                Copyright © 2017 Walski, De Schutter, Cappelle, Van Damme and Smagghe.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 90, Pages: 11, Words: 8816
                Original Research


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