Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is the major physiological inhibitor of a range of serine proteases, and in the lung, it maintains a protease-antiprotease balance. AAT deficiency (AATD) is an autosomal co-dominant condition with the Z mutation being the most common cause. Individuals homozygous for Z (PiZZ) have low levels of circulating mutant Z-AAT protein leading to premature emphysematous lung disease. Extensive glycoanalysis has been performed on normal AAT (M-AAT) from healthy individuals and the importance of glycosylation in affecting the immune modulatory roles of AAT is documented. However, no glycoanalysis has been carried out on Z-AAT from deficient individuals to date. In this study, we investigate whether the glycans present on Z-AAT differ to those found on M-AAT from healthy controls. Plasma AAT was purified from 10 individuals: 5 AATD donors with the PiZZ phenotype and 5 PiMM healthy controls. Glycoanalysis was performed employing N-glycan release, exoglycosidase digestion and UPLC analysis. No difference in branched glycans was identified between AATD and healthy controls. However, a significant increase in both outer arm (α1-3) (p = 0.04) and core (α1-6) fucosylated glycans (p < 0.0001) was found on Z-AAT compared to M-AAT. This study has identified increased fucosylation on N-glycans of Z-AAT indicative of ongoing inflammation in AATD individuals with implications for early therapeutic intervention.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->