Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection manipulates the glycosylation machinery and the N-glycoproteome of human macrophages and their microparticles

Nathan J. Hare, Ling Y. Lee, Ian Loke, Warwick J. Britton, Bernadette M. Saunders, Morten Thaysen-Andersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a prevalent and lethal infectious disease. The glycobiology associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of frontline alveolar macrophages is still unresolved. Herein, we investigated the regulation of protein N-glycosylation in human macrophages and their secreted microparticles (MPs) used for intercellular communication upon M. tb infection. LC-MS/MS-based proteomics and glycomics were performed to monitor the regulation of glycosylation enzymes and receptors and the N-glycome in in vitro-differentiated macrophages and in isolated MPs upon M. tb infection. Infection promoted a dramatic regulation of the macrophage proteome. Most notably, significant infection-dependent down-regulation (4-26 fold) of 11 lysosomal exoglycosidases, e.g., β-galactosidase, β-hexosaminidases and α-/β-mannosidases, was observed. Relative weak infection-driven transcriptional regulation of these exoglycosidases and a stronger augmentation of the extracellular hexosaminidase activity demonstrated that the lysosome-centric changes may originate predominantly from infection-induced secretion of the lysosomal content. The macrophages showed heterogeneous N-glycan profiles and displayed significant up-regulation of complex-type glycosylation and concomitant down-regulation of paucimannosylation upon infection. Complementary intact N-glycopeptide analysis supported a subcellular-specific manipulation of the glycosylation machinery and altered glycosylation patterns of lysosomal N-glycoproteins within infected macrophages. Interestingly, the corresponding macrophage-derived MPs displayed unique N-glycome and proteome signatures supporting a preferential packaging from plasma membranes. The MPs were devoid of infection-dependent N-glycosylation signatures, but interestingly displayed increased levels of the glyco-initiating oligosaccharyltransferase complex and associated α-glucosidases that correlated with increased formation, N-glycan precursor levels and N-glycan density of infected MPs. In conclusion, this system-wide study provides new insight into the host- and pathogen-driven N-glycoproteome manipulation of macrophages in TB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-263
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017


  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • tuberculosis
  • microparticle
  • macrophage
  • N-glycosylation
  • LC−MS/MS
  • exoglycosidase
  • glycoproteome
  • proteomics
  • glycoprofiling
  • glycomics


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