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Human urinary glycoproteomics; attachment site specific analysis of N- and O-linked glycosylations by CID and ECD.

Journal article
Authors Adnan Halim
Jonas Nilsson
Ulla Rüetschi
Camilla Hesse
Göran Larson
Published in Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages M111.013649
ISSN 1535-9484
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Pages M111.013649
Language en
Keywords Chromatography, Liquid, Dialysis, Glycopeptides, chemistry, urine, Glycoproteins, chemistry, urine, Glycosylation, Humans, Male, N-Acetylneuraminic Acid, chemistry, Proteomics, methods, Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Subject categories Clinical chemistry


Urine is a complex mixture of proteins and waste products and a challenging biological fluid for biomarker discovery. Previous proteomic studies have identified more than 2800 urinary proteins but analyses aimed at unraveling glycan structures and glycosylation sites of urinary glycoproteins are lacking. Glycoproteomic characterization remains difficult because of the complexity of glycan structures found mainly on asparagine (N-linked) or serine/threonine (O-linked) residues. We have developed a glycoproteomic approach that combines efficient purification of urinary glycoproteins/glycopeptides with complementary MS-fragmentation techniques for glycopeptide analysis. Starting from clinical sample size, we eliminated interfering urinary compounds by dialysis and concentrated the purified urinary proteins by lyophilization. Sialylated urinary glycoproteins were conjugated to a solid support by hydrazide chemistry and trypsin digested. Desialylated glycopeptides, released through mild acid hydrolysis, were characterized by tandem MS experiments utilizing collision induced dissociation (CID) and electron capture dissociation fragmentation techniques. In CID-MS(2), Hex(5)HexNAc(4)-N-Asn and HexHexNAc-O-Ser/Thr were typically observed, in agreement with known N-linked biantennary complex-type and O-linked core 1-like structures, respectively. Additional glycoforms for specific N- and O-linked glycopeptides were also identified, e.g. tetra-antennary N-glycans and fucosylated core 2-like O-glycans. Subsequent CID-MS(3), of selected fragment-ions from the CID-MS(2) analysis, generated peptide specific b- and y-ions that were used for peptide identification. In total, 58 N- and 63 O-linked glycopeptides from 53 glycoproteins were characterized with respect to glycan- and peptide sequences. The combination of CID and electron capture dissociation techniques allowed for the exact identification of Ser/Thr attachment site(s) for 40 of 57 putative O-glycosylation sites. We defined 29 O-glycosylation sites which have, to our knowledge, not been previously reported. This is the first study of human urinary glycoproteins where "intact" glycopeptides were studied, i.e. the presence of glycans and their attachment sites were proven without doubt.

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