Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Research Associate in Chemical Glycobiology (Francis Crick I



+44 (0)20 7594 2596zhen.li1




E519Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





Publication Type

2 results found

Li Z, Gao C, Zhang Y, Palma A, Childs R, Silva L, Liu Y, Jiang X, Liu Y, Chai W, Feizi Tet al., 2017, O-Glycome beam search arrays for carbohydrate ligand discovery, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Vol: 17, Pages: 121-133, ISSN: 1535-9476

O-glycosylation is a post-translational modification of proteins crucial to molecular mechanisms in health and disease. O-glycans are typically highly heterogeneous. The involvement of specific O-glycan sequences in many bio-recognition systems is yet to be determined due to a lack of efficient methodologies. We describe here a targeted microarray approach: O-glycome beam search that is both robust and efficient for O-glycan ligand-discovery. Substantial simplification of the complex O-glycome profile and facile chromatographic resolution is achieved by arraying O-glycans as branches, monitoring by mass spectrometry, focusing on promising fractions, and on-array immuno-sequencing. This is orders of magnitude more sensitive than traditional methods. We have applied beam search approach to porcine stomach mucin and identified extremely minor components previously undetected within the O-glycome of this mucin that are ligands for the adhesive proteins of two rotaviruses. The approach is applicable to O-glycome recognition studies in a wide range of biological settings to give insights into glycan recognition structures in natural microenvironments.

Journal article

Liu Y, Ramelot TA, Huang P, Liu Y, Li Z, Feizi T, Zhong W, Wu FT, Tan M, Kennedy MA, Jiang Xet al., 2016, Glycan specificity of P[19] rotavirus and comparison with those of other related P genotypes, Journal of Virology, Vol: 90, Pages: 9983-9996, ISSN: 1098-5514

The P[19] genotype belongs to the P[II] genogroup of group A rotaviruses (RVs). However, unlike the other P[II] RVs that mainly infects humans, P[19] RVs commonly infect animals (porcine), making P[19] unique to study RV diversity and host ranges. Through in vitro binding assays and saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR, we found that P[19] could bind mucin cores 2, 4, and 6, as well as type 1 histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). The common sequences of these glycans serve as minimal binding units, while additional residues, such as the A, B, H, and Lewis epitopes of the type 1 HBGAs, can further define the binding outcomes and therefore, likely the host ranges for P[19] RVs. This complex binding property of P[19] is shared with those of the other three P[II] RVs (P[4], P[6] and P[8]) in that all of them recognized the type 1 HBGA precursor, although P[4] and P[8], but not P[6], also bind to mucin cores. Moreover, while essential for P[4] and P[8] binding, the addition of the Lewis epitope blocked P[6] and P[19] binding to type 1 HBGAs. Chemical shift NMR of P[19] VP8* identified a ligand binding interface that has shifted away from the known RV P-genotype binding sites but is conserved among all P[II] RVs and two P[I] RVs (P[10] and P[12]), suggesting an evolutionary connection among these human and animal RVs. Taken together, these data are important for hypotheses on potential mechanisms for RV diversity, host ranges, and cross-species transmission. IMPORTANCE: In this study, we found that this P[19] strain and other P[II] RVs recognize mucin cores and the type 1 HBGA precursors as the minimal functional units and that additional saccharides adjacent to these units can alter binding outcomes and thereby possibly host ranges. These data may help to explain why some P[II] RVs, such as P[6] and P[19], commonly infect animals but rarely humans, while others, such as the P[4] and P[8] RVs, mainly infect humans and are predominant over other P genotypes. Elucidation

Journal article

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