Dysregulation of T cell receptorN-glycosylation: a molecular mechanism involved in ulcerative colitis

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Abstract

The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease is increasing worldwide and the underlying molecular mechanisms are far from being fully elucidated. Herein, we evaluated the role of N-glycosylation dysregulation in T cells as a key mechanism in the ulcerative colitis (UC) pathogenesis. The evaluation of the branched N-glycosylation levels and profile of intestinal T cell receptor (TCR) were assessed in colonic biopsies from UC patients and healthy controls. Expression alterations of the glycosyltransferase gene MGAT5 were also evaluated. We demonstrated that UC patients exhibit a dysregulation of TCR branched N-glycosylation on lamina propria T lymphocytes. Patients with severe UC showed the most pronounced defect on N-glycan branching in T cells. Moreover, UC patients showed a significant reduction of MGAT5 gene transcription in T lymphocytes. In this study, we disclose for the first time that a deficiency in branched N-glycosylation on TCR due to a reduced MGAT5 gene expression is a new molecular mechanism underlying UC pathogenesis, being a potential novel biomarker with promising clinical and therapeutic applications.

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