Implications of the E-selectin S128R mutation for drug discovery

Glycobiology. 2014 Jul;24(7):592-601. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwu026. Epub 2014 Mar 31.


The C-type lectin E-selectin mediates the rolling of circulating leukocytes on vascular endothelial cells during the inflammatory process. In numerous studies, the S128R mutation of the E-selectin was associated with cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. There is evidence that the S128R E-selectin mutation leads to a loss in ligand specificity, thus increasing leukocyte recruitment. Apart from the natural tetrasaccharide ligand sialyl Lewis(x) (sLe(x)), it has previously been proposed that non-fucosylated carbohydrates also bind to S128R E-selectin. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of the antagonism of the E-selectin mutant, ligand specificity was reinvestigated on a molecular basis. We determined the ligand specificity of wild-type and S128R E-selectin in a target-based competitive assay, a glycan array screen and cell-based binding assays under static and flow conditions. Regarding ligand-specificity, the binding properties of S128R E-selectin were identical to those of wt E-selectin, i.e., no mutant-specific binding of 3'-sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine, heparin, fetuin and K562 cells was observed. Additionally, the binding affinities of glycomimetic E-selectin antagonists were identical for wt and S128R E-selectin. Overall, the previous reports on carbohydrate ligand promiscuity of S128R E-selectin could not be confirmed.