Deep Structural Analysis and Quantitation of O-Linked Glycans on Cell Membrane Reveal High Abundances and Distinct Glycomic Profiles Associated with Cell Type and Stages of Differentiation

Gege Xu, Elisha Goonatilleke, Sopit Wongkham, Carlito B. Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Proteins on cell membrane are modified by N- and O-glycans. N-Glycans have been extensively characterized using advanced separation and mass spectrometry techniques. However, O-glycans remain a challenge, because of the lack of universal enzymes to release them and the large background abundances of N-glycans. Here, we report a method for in-depth structural analysis and quantitation of O-glycans derived from human cell membrane. O-Glycans were chemically released from isolated cell membrane glycoproteins following N-glycan and lipid/glycolipid removal by PNGase F digestion and Folch extraction, respectively. Released O-glycans were purified by an optimized protocol to eliminate interference from small molecules and degraded proteins. Cell surface O-glycans were then analyzed using a nanoLC-chip-QTOF mass spectrometer with a porous graphitized carbon (PGC) column, while the N-glycans and glycolipids isolated from the same cell membrane fractions were analyzed in parallel using previously reported methods. The monosaccharide compositions and linkages of the detected O-glycans were identified by exoglycosidase digestion facilitated with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Using this method, we identified 44 cell membrane O-glycan isomers with MS/MS, and, among them, we unambiguously characterized 25 O-glycan structures with exoglycosidase digestion to create a library with their complete structures, accurate masses, and retention times. In this process, we identified and characterized unexpected mannose oligomers that are α(1-2/3) linked. This library enabled the identification and quantification of unique cell surface O-glycans from different cell lines and the study of specific O-glycan changes during cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3758-3768
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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