Differences in the fertilization behavior of Xenopus borealis from X. laevis and X. tropicalis suggest differences in the glycosylation of the egg jellies. To test this assumption, O-linked glycans were chemically released from the egg jelly coat glycoproteins of X. borealis. Over 50 major neutral glycans were observed, and no anionic glycans were detected from the released O-glycan pool. Preliminary structures of ∼30 neutral oligosaccharides were determined using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) infrared multiphoton dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (MS). The mass fingerprint of a group of peaks for the core-2 structure of O-glycans was conserved in the tandem mass spectra and was instrumental in rapid and efficient structure determination. Among the 29 O-glycans, 22 glycans contain the typical core-2 structure, 3 glycans have the core-1 structure and 2 glycans contained a previously unobserved core structure with hexose at the reducing end. There were seven pairs of structural isomers observed in the major O-linked oligosaccharides. To further elucidate the structures of a dozen O-linked glycans, specific and targeted exoglycosidase digestions were carried out and the products were monitored with MALDI-MS. Reported here are the elucidated structures of O-linked oligosaccharides from glycoproteins of X. borealis egg jelly coats. The structural differences in O-glycans from jelly coats of X. borealis and its close relatives may provide a better understanding of the structure-function relationships and the role of glycans in the fertilization process within Xenopodinae.
- MALDI-IRMPD mass spectrometry
- O-glycan structure
- tandem MS
- X. borealis
ASJC Scopus subject areas