Progress has been made in overcoming antibody-mediated rejection of porcine xenografts by deleting pig genes that produce unique carbohydrate epitopes. Pigs deficient in galactose α-1,3 galactose (gene modified: GGTA1) and neu5Gc (gene modified: CMAH) have reduced levels of human antibody binding. Previously we identified α-fucose as a glycan that was expressed in high levels on cells of GGTA1/CMAH KO pigs. To validate the α-fucose phenotype observed previously we compared lectin affinity toward human and pig serum glycoproteins by dot blot analysis and confocal microscopy. Human anti-fucose antibody isolated by affinity chromatography was tested for specificity to L-fucose by custom macroarray. The affinity and cytotoxicity of the isolated human anti-fucose antibody toward human and GGTA1/CMAH KO pig PBMCs was determined by flow cytometry. Dot blot and confocal analysis support out previous findings that α-fucose is more highly expressed in pigs than humans. Pig kidney glomeruli and tubules contain abundant α-fucose and may represent focal sites for anti-α-fucose antibody binding. The Isolated human anti-fucose IgA, IgG and IgM bound to GGTA1/CMAH KO pig PBMC and were cytotoxic. Interestingly, the isolated human IgG cross reacted with the methyl pentose, L-rhamnose. Human anti-fucose antibody bound and was cytotoxic to GGTA1/CMAH KO pig peripheral blood monocytes. We have shown that α-fucose is an abundant target for cytotoxic human antibody in the organs of genetically modified pigs important to xenotransplantation.
Keywords: N-linked oligosaccharide; Xenoantigens; antibody-mediated rejection; fucose; fucosyltransferase.
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