Purpose: We performed lectin microarray analyses of islets from wild-type (WT) pigs and α1-3galactosyltransferase gene knockout (GKO) pigs and compared the results with the corresponding values for islets from healthy humans.
Methods: Islets were isolated from the pancreas. After sonication and centrifugation, the proteins in the supernatant from each islet were labeled with Cy3 and applied to a lectin array.
Results: Despite negligible expression of the Gal antigen on the adult pig islets (APIs), GKO-islets showed weaker signals, not only for GS-I-B4 but also for PNA, WFA, PTL-I, and GS-I-A4, than the WT islets, indicating reduced contents of α-linked GalNAc and Galβ1-3GalNAc. In comparing the islets of pigs vs. humans, human islets showed stronger signals for UEA-I, AAL, TJA-II, EEL, WFA, HPA, DBA, SBA and PTL-I, indicating that besides ABO blood type antigens, high levels of fucose and α-linked GalNAc are present. On the other hand, the high mannose form was very rich in the APIs.
Conclusion: GKO reduced alpha-linked GalNAc, despite negligible expression of the Gal antigen on WT-API. On the other hand, the high-mannose form was richer in both APIs than in healthy human islets. These results provide useful information for future studies.