Generation of Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells with Differing Sialylated Phenotypes

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Sialic acids are negatively charged monosaccharides typically found at the termini of cell surface glycans. Due to their hydrophilicity and biophysical characteristics, they are involved in numerous biological processes, such as modulation of the immune response, recognition of self and non-self antigens, carbohydrate-protein interactions, etc. The cellular content of sialic acid is regulated by sialidase, which catalyzes the removal of sialic acid residues. Several studies have shown that sialo-glycans are critical in monitoring immune surveillance by engaging with cis and trans inhibitory Siglec receptors on immune cells. Likewise, glyco-immune checkpoints in cancer are becoming crucial targets for developing immunotherapies. Additionally, dendritic cells (DCs) are envisioned as an important component in immunotherapies, especially in cancer research, due to their unique role as professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) and their capacity to trigger adaptive immune responses and generate immunologic memory. Nevertheless, the function of DCs is dependent on their full maturation. Immature DCs have an opposing function to mature DCs and a high sialic acid content, which further dampens their maturation level. This downregulates the ability of immature DCs to activate T-cells, leading to a compromised immune response. Consequently, removing sialic acid from the cell surface of human DCs induces their maturation, thus increasing the expression of MHC molecules and antigen presentation. In addition, it can restore the expression of co-stimulatory molecules and IL-12, resulting in DCs having a higher ability to polarize T-cells toward a Th1 phenotype and specifically activate cytotoxic T-cells to kill tumor cells. Therefore, sialic acid has emerged as a key modulator of DCs and is being used as a novel target to advance their therapeutic use. This study provides a unique approach to treat in vitro monocyte-derived DCs with sialidase, aimed at generating DC populations with different cell surface sialic acid phenotypes and tailored maturation and co-stimulatory profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65525
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number200
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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