Table1_The Role of Fucose-Containing Glycan Motifs Across Taxonomic Kingdoms.XLSX (14.55 kB)
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Table1_The Role of Fucose-Containing Glycan Motifs Across Taxonomic Kingdoms.XLSX

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posted on 22.09.2021, 04:21 by Luc Thomès, Daniel Bojar

The extraordinary diversity of glycans leads to large differences in the glycomes of different kingdoms of life. Yet, while most monosaccharides are solely found in certain taxonomic groups, there is a small set of monosaccharides with widespread distribution across nearly all domains of life. These general monosaccharides are particularly relevant for glycan motifs, as they can readily be used by commensals and pathogens to mimic host glycans or hijack existing glycan recognition systems. Among these, the monosaccharide fucose is especially interesting, as it frequently presents itself as a terminal monosaccharide, primed for interaction with proteins. Here, we analyze fucose-containing glycan motifs across all taxonomic kingdoms. Using a hereby presented large species-specific glycan dataset and a plethora of methods for glycan-focused bioinformatics and machine learning, we identify characteristic as well as shared fucose-containing glycan motifs for various taxonomic groups, demonstrating clear differences in fucose usage. Even within domains, fucose is used differentially based on an organism’s physiology and habitat. We particularly highlight differences in fucose-containing motifs between vertebrates and invertebrates. With the example of pathogenic and non-pathogenic Escherichia coli strains, we also demonstrate the importance of fucose-containing motifs in molecular mimicry and thereby pathogenic potential. We envision that this study will shed light on an important class of glycan motifs, with potential new insights into the role of fucosylated glycans in symbiosis, pathogenicity, and immunity.