ST6Gal-1 Sialyltransferase Influences Adaptive Immunity and the Gut Microbiome
Glycans are ubiquitous carbohydrate structures conjugated to proteins and lipids that can play integral roles in their structure and function. The mechanisms by which glycans are constructed are still incompletely understood. Recent advances in our group have highlighted that soluble, extracellular glycosyltransferases are capable of modifying distant glycans using platelet-derived sugar molecules, a process called extrinsic glycosylation. The purpose of this project is to understand the mechanisms by which B cells utilize and are modified by extrinsic glycosylation, specifically in regards to the sialyltransferase ST6Gal-1. Furthermore, a novel role of ST6Gal-1 expression in the neonatal gut and its implications for microbiome formation and mucosal immunity are also described.