Galectins are glycan-binding proteins involved in various biological processes including cell/cell interactions. During B-cell development, bone marrow stromal cells secreting galectin-1 (GAL1) constitute a specific niche for pre-BII cells. Besides binding glycans, GAL1 is also a pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) ligand that induces receptor clustering, the first checkpoint of B-cell differentiation. The GAL1/pre-BCR interaction is the first example of a GAL1/unglycosylated protein interaction in the extracellular compartment. Here we show that GAL1/pre-BCR interaction modifies GAL1/glycan affinity and particularly inhibits binding to LacNAc containing epitopes. GAL1/pre-BCR interaction induces local conformational changes in the GAL1 carbohydrate-binding site generating a reduction in GAL1/glycan affinity. This fine tuning of GAL1/glycan interactions may be a strategic mechanism for allowing pre-BCR clustering and pre-BII cells departure from their niche. Altogether, our data suggest a novel mechanism for a cell to modify the equilibrium of the GAL1/glycan lattice involving GAL1/unglycosylated protein interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)