Decreased sialylation of the acute phase protein α1-acid glycoprotein in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)

Fabrizio Ceciliani, Claudia Grossi, Alessia Giordano, Vanessa Pocacqua, Saverio Paltrinieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an immune-mediated disease of domestic and exotic felides infected with feline coronavirus. FIP is characterized by the overexpression of an acute phase protein, the α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). In humans, AGP is a heavily glycosylated protein that undergoes several modifications of its glycan moiety during acute and chronic inflammatory pathologies. We studied the changes in AGP glycosylation in the course of FIP. Specifically, we focussed our attention on the degree of sialylation, fucosylation and branching. This study presents a purification method for feline AGP (fAGP) from serum, using an ion exchange chromatography strategy. The glycosylation pattern was analyzed in detail by means of interaction of purified fAGP with specific lectins. In particular, Sambucus nigra agglutinin I and Maackia amurensis agglutinin lectins were used to detect sialic acid residues, Aleuria aurantia lectin was used to detect L-fucose residues and Concanavalin A was used to evaluate the branching degree. By this method we showed that fAGP did not present any L-fucose residues on its surface, and that its branching degree was very low, both in normal and in pathological conditions. In contrast, during FIP disease, fAGP underwent several modifications in the sialic acid content, including decreased expression of both α(2-6)-linked and α(2-3)-linked sialic acid (76 and 44%, respectively when compared to non-pathological feline AGP).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • α1-acid glycoprotein
  • AGP
  • fAGP
  • FCoV
  • feline α1-acid glycoprotein
  • feline coronavirus
  • feline infectious peritonitis
  • FIP
  • haptoglobin
  • high pressure liquid chromatography
  • HP
  • HPLC
  • MAA
  • Sambucus nigra agglutinin
  • sialyl Lewis X
  • SleX
  • SNAI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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