Researchers from Czech Republic have uncovered a correlation between the transition from myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the aberrant glycosylation of plasma glycoproteins. Moreover, they have expanded the array of lectins capable of distinguishing between different stages of the disease.

The findings of the study suggest that glycan modifications, including fucosylation, galactosylation, and sialylation, are closely linked to the evolution and progression of MDS.

In addition, the researchers identified several dysregulated lectins. For instance, they observed increased sensor responses for Erythrina crista-galli, Triticum vulgaris, Lens culinaris, Aleuria aurantia, and Arachis hypogaea. Conversely, Helix pomatia exhibited decreased sensor response across all patient groups compared with healthy donors.

Furthermore, the researchers noted increased sensor responses to Ulex europaeus, Bandeiraea simplicifolia, and Vicia villosa among the AML group in comparison with MDS patients and healthy donors.

Read more about MDS etiology 

Increased sensor responses to Maackia amurensis were observed in the MDS-EB and AML groups in contrast to those with refractory anemia and refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (MDS-SLD, low-risk of MDS progression), refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (MDS-MLD, medium-risk of MDS progression), as well as the healthy donor groups.

The correlation between specific lectins and disease stages was evident. For instance, A. aurantia and E. crista-galli showed significant elevation in both MDS-SLD and MDS-MLD groups.

“This work demonstrates the potential of lectin-based technology for the investigation of glycan aberrations and research into molecular processes associated with MDS,” the researchers wrote in Scientific Reports.

The researchers used a surface plasmon resonance imaging biosensor coupled with a lectin array, exposing blood plasma samples from distinct patient groups (including MDS subtypes and AML) and healthy donors to immobilized lectins.

Statistical and factor analyses were applied to discern significant changes in sensor responses and to identify characteristic lectin patterns associated with different disease stages.


Chrastinová L, Pastva O, Bocková M, et al. Linking aberrant glycosylation of plasma glycoproteins with progression of myelodysplastic syndromes: a study based on plasmonic biosensor and lectin array. Sci Rep. Published inline August 7, 2023. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-39927-4