High mannose N-glycans on red blood cells as phagocytic ligands, mediating both sickle cell anaemia and resistance to malaria

Huan Cao, Aristotelis Antonopoulos, Sadie Henderson, Heather J.h Wassall, John Brewin, Alanna Masson, Jenna Shepherd, Gabriela Konieczny, Bhinal Patel, Maria-Louise Williams, Adam Davie, Megan Amy Forrester, Lindsay Hall, Beverley Minter, Dimitris Tampakis, Michael Moss, Charlotte Lennon, Wendy Pickford, Lars Erwig, Beverley RobertsonAnne Dell, Gordon Douglas Brown, Heather Wilson, David C. Rees, Stuart M Haslam, J. Alexandra Rowe*, Robert Barker, Mark Vickers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In both sickle cell disease (SCD) and malaria, red blood cells (RBCs) are phagocytosed in the spleen, but receptor-ligand pairs mediating uptake have not been identified. Here, we report that patches of high mannose N-glycans (Man5-9GlcNAc2), expressed on diseased or oxidized RBC surfaces, bind the mannose receptor (CD206) on phagocytes to mediate clearance. Extravascular haemolysis in SCD correlates with high mannose glycan levels on RBCs. Infection of RBCs with Plasmodium falciparum expose surface mannose N-glycans on healthy RBCs, which occurred at significantly higher levels on RBCs from subjects with sickle cell trait compared to those lacking haemoglobin S. The glycans were associated with high molecular weight complexes and protease-resistant, lower molecular weight fragments containing spectrin. Recognition of surface N-linked high mannose glycans, a novel response to cellular stress, is the first molecular mechanism common to both the pathogenesis of SCD and resistance to severe malaria in sickle cell trait.
Original languageEnglish
JournalbioRxiv
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Nov 2020

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