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The Glycobiology of SIgA - Microbiota Interactions

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In the field of biology, the study of microbial-host interactions is a challenging and innovative task. One such area under investigation is the glycobiology of microbiota interactions. It has been shown that the interaction of SIgA with microorganisms involves not only the structure and affinity of the antibody, but also the glycan groups on the surface of the microorganisms. Glycans on the surface of microorganisms can bind to the glycans on SIgA, thus affecting the interaction of SIgA with microorganisms.

Interactions between SIgA and Microbial Species

It has been indicated that the process of SigA affixing to specific microorganism species via antigen-binding fragment (Fab) region was a recognized binding mechanism with a high degree of species-specificity. Moreover, SIgA has been observed to communicate with microbial glycans through a noncanonical binding method. This unconventional binding modality can transpire across species – implying that a single SIgA can establish a connection with various microbial species. Noncanonical binding can also manifest in a singular species-specific context – in other words, a particular SIgA can attach itself to one bacterial species while exhibiting no such interaction with another.

SIgA's Role and Binding to Microbial Glycoconjugates

The binding of SIgA to microbial glycoconjugates has multiple functional implications, including facilitating microbial clearance, neutralizing virulence factors, and regulating microbial community composition and function. However, little is known about the structure of the glycan groups of symbiotic microorganisms. Glycosylation of symbiotic microorganisms can be very diverse, as phage predation tends to drive diversification, leading for example to the use of a wider range of monosaccharides than mammalian glycoconjugates. Indeed, some glycosyl structures are shared across species. For example, the K100 capsule of commensal E. coli is nearly identical to the pods of pathogenic Haemophilus influenzae, and may provide a degree of natural protection in the microbiota of adults carrying K100 E. coli. Thus, cross-species binding does not necessarily imply confounding of the binding: it is possible that the same glycosyl structure can exist in two unrelated species. Because of the high cost of production of these glycosyl groups, the fact that they are reversible phage receptors, and their important function in protecting bacterial membranes from hydrophobic toxin attack, surface glycosyl groups with variable phases or chemical modifications based on glycans availability and phage presence have a distinct advantage. These factors will affect SIgA binding to species in a stochastic manner.

Layers of the effects of SIgA on the gut microbiotaFig 1. Layers of the effects of SIgA on the gut microbiota.1

Delving into the study of SIgA-microbiota interactions' glycobiology is undeniably crucial in shedding light on the intricate dynamics and multifaceted roles of SIgA in our gut's ecosystem. To effectively do this, we need a holistic approach that weaves together immunology, microbiology, and glycobiology. As we continue to heighten research in this area, our comprehension of this interaction's significance in human health and disease will inevitably deepen. This acquired knowledge will pave the way for the creation of novel therapeutic methods.

At Creative Biolabs, our highly skilled team is more than prepared to offer an extensive selection of non-IgG antibody development solutions to customers globally. We also are able to fulfill unique requirements by offering a thorough suite of IgA antibodies that we source from a varied range of species such as rats, mice, humans, and bovines. These are applicable for a diverse number of uses. For further details, do not hesitate to reach out to us.


  1. Pabst, Oliver, and Ana Izcue. "Secretory IgA: controlling the gut microbiota." Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 19.3 (2022): 149-150.

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For Research Use Only. Our products and services are NOT intended for diagnostic or therapeutic applications.






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