Blood group antigen expression is involved in C. albicans interaction with buccal epithelial cells

Arun V. Everest-Dass, Daniel Kolarich, Dana Pascovici, Nicolle H. Packer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Human blood group polymorphisms are known to be determined by the expression of A, B or H antigens and the Lewis antigens. Protection against microbial infections has been associated with inheritance of polymorphisms in genes encoding and regulating the expression of ABH and Lewis antigens in bodily secretions and epithelial tissue surfaces, subsequently resulting in the presentation of different glycosylated terminal antigens on the cell surface. We investigated the role of blood group antigens in diversifying the glycosylation of buccal epithelial cells (BEC) that line the oral cavity. Specifically, we characterized and statistically evaluated the expression of histo-blood group (A, B, O) antigens on N-and O-linked glycans from BEC membrane proteins of various individuals that represented different blood group type and secretor status using a porous graphitic carbon liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PGC-LC-ESI-MS) based glycomics approach. From these BEC membrane proteins a total of 77 N-glycan and 96 O-glycan structures were structurally characterized from 19 individuals and relatively quantitated. The N-glycans from the secretor individuals did not express any A/B blood group determinants, but contained several terminal H-antigens. Apart from the non-secretors, the N-glycan profiles of BEC from all blood groups displayed similar glycan types, while varying in their relative intensities between individuals. However, multivariate analysis of the O-glycans from individuals displayed segregation patterns clearly associated with their blood group type and secretor status. In adhesion assays the oral pathogen Candida albicans showed a significantly higher interaction to blood group O type BECs relative to other blood groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-50
Number of pages20
JournalGlycoconjugate Journal
Issue number1
Early online date17 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Glycans
  • Blood group anitgens
  • Buccal epithelial cells
  • Candia albicans
  • Glycomics
  • Mass spectrometry


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