Blood Group O→A Transformation by Chemical Ligation of Erythrocytes
Agglutination of red blood cells (RBCs) remains the only practical method for routine use for ABH typing in clinical practice. However, exact mechanistic details of agglutination are not yet thoroughly studied. In this research, RBCs of blood group O were converted to blood group A through two approaches: by chemical ligation of the cells’ glycocalyx with synthetic blood group A tetrasaccharide, and by insertion of synthetic glycolipid carrying the same A antigen into the cells’ membranes. The O→A ligated RBCs and natural A RBCs showed comparable agglutination characteristics with antibodies. As expected, RBCs with inserted glycolipid showed lower agglutination scores. This approach could help cell biologists in site-specific and cell-friendly modification of glycocalyx by other ligands.