Dr. Schnaar's research focuses on:
Cell-cell interactions in inflammation – Engaging the lectin Siglec-8 on the surface of human eosinophils, basophils, and mast cells results in apoptosis and inhibition of immune mediator release, inhibiting allergic inflammation. His team has identified glycan structures that bind to Siglec-8 and that represent lead compounds for glycan-based asthma therapy, including endogenous counter-receptors in human airways that control eosinophilic inflammation.
Sialoglycans in the control of nervous system proteinopathies. Immune inhibitory Siglecs are expressed on brain microglia, where they regulate the clearance of misfolded proteins. Key to this interaction are endogenous brain sialoglycans that engage microglial Siglecs. Knowledge of these structures and their expression in human proteinopathies such as Alzheimer's Disease promises new avenues to alter disease progression.
Gangliosides are a class of sialoglycans that represent major molecular determinants on the surfaces of all mammalian cells, but particularly nerve cells. Gangliosides bind specifically to their own cell surface proteins and proteins on other cells to regulate nervous system functions. Chemical biology probes are being used to identify the mammalian ganglioside interactome.
Lab Website: Ronald Schnaar Lab
View all on PubMed
Büll C, Nason R, Sun L, Van Coillie J, Madriz Sørensen D, Moons SJ, Yang Z, Arbitman S, Fernandes SM, Furukawa S, McBride R, Nycholat CM, Adema GJ, Paulson JC, Schnaar RL, Boltje TJ, Clausen H, Narimatsu Y. Probing the binding specificities of human Siglecs by cell-based glycan arrays. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 118:e2026102118. 2021
Gonzalez-Gil A, Li TA, Porell RN, Fernandes SM, Tarbox HE, Lee HS, Aoki K, Tiemeyer M, Kim J, Schnaar RL. Isolation, identification and characterization of the human airway ligand for the eosinophil and mast cell immunoinhibitory receptor Siglec-8. J Allergy Clin Immunol 147:1442-1452. 2021
Li TA, Schnaar RL. Congenital Disorders of Ganglioside Biosynthesis. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 156:63-82, 2018.
Schnaar RL. Gangliosides of the vertebrate nervous system. J Mol Biol 428:3325-3336, 2016