Diet affects glycosylation of serum proteins in women at risk for cardiometabolic disease

Tyler Kim, Yixuan Xie, Qiongyu Li, Virginia M. Artegoitia, Carlito B. Lebrilla, Nancy L Keim, Sean H. Adams, Sridevi Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Glycoproteomics deals with glycoproteins that are formed by post-translational modification when sugars (like fucose and sialic acid) are attached to protein. Glycosylation of proteins influences function, but whether glycosylation is altered by diet is unknown. Objective: To evaluate the effect of consuming a diet based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on circulating glycoproteins that have previously been associated with cardiometabolic diseases. Design: Forty-four women, with one or more metabolic syndrome characteristics, completed an 8-week randomized controlled feeding intervention (n = 22) consuming a diet based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA 2010); the remaining consumed a ‘typical American diet’ (TAD, n = 22). Fasting serum samples were obtained at week0 (baseline) and week8 (post-intervention); 17 serum proteins were chosen for targeted analyses. Protein standards and serum samples were analyzed in a UHPLC-MS protocol to determine peptide concentration and their glycan (fucosylation or sialylation) profiles. Data at baseline were used in correlational analyses; change in proteins and glycans following intervention were used in non-parametric analyses. Results: At baseline, women with more metabolic syndrome characteristics had more fucosylation (total di-fucosylated proteins: p = 0.045) compared to women with a lesser number of metabolic syndrome characteristics. Dietary refined grain intake was associated with increased total fucosylation (ρ = − 0.530, p < 0.001) and reduced total sialylation (ρ = 0.311, p = 0.042). After the 8-week intervention, there was higher sialylation following the DGA diet (Total di-sialylated protein p = 0.018, poly-sialylated orosomucoid p = 0.012) compared to the TAD diet. Conclusions: Based on this study, glycosylation of proteins is likely affected by dietary patterns; higher sialylation was associated with a healthier diet pattern. Altered glycosylation is associated with several diseases, particularly cancer and type 2 diabetes, and this study raises the possibility that diet may influence disease state by altering glycosylation. Clinical trial registration: NCT02298725 at;

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Fucosylation
  • Glycan
  • Glycoproteomics
  • Glycosylation
  • Post-translational modification
  • Sialylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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