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Site-specific characterization of threonine, serine, and tyrosine glycosylations of amyloid precursor protein/amyloid beta-peptides in human cerebrospinal fluid.

Halim A., Brinkmalm G., Ruetschi U., Westman-Brinkmalm A., Portelius E., Zetterberg H., Blennow K., Larson G., Nilsson J.

The proteolytic processing of human amyloid precursor protein (APP) into shorter aggregating amyloid β (Aβ)-peptides, e.g., Aβ1-42, is considered a critical step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although APP is a well-known membrane glycoprotein carrying both N- and O-glycans, nothing is known about the occurrence of released APP/Aβ glycopeptides in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We used the 6E10 antibody and immunopurified Aβ peptides and glycopeptides from CSF samples and then liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for structural analysis using collision-induced dissociation and electron capture dissociation. In addition to 33 unglycosylated APP/Aβ peptides, we identified 37 APP/Aβ glycopeptides with sialylated core 1 like O-glycans attached to Thr(-39, -21, -20, and -13), in a series of APP/AβX-15 glycopeptides, where X was -63, -57, -52, and -45, in relation to Asp1 of the Aβ sequence. Unexpectedly, we also identified a series of 27 glycopeptides, the Aβ1-X series, where X was 20 (DAEFRHDSGYEVHHQKLVFF), 19, 18, 17, 16, and 15, which were all uniquely glycosylated on Tyr10. The Tyr10 linked O-glycans were (Neu5Ac)(1-2)Hex(Neu5Ac)HexNAc-O-structures with the disialylated terminals occasionally O-acetylated or lactonized, indicating a terminal Neu5Acα2,8Neu5Ac linkage. We could not detect any glycosylation of the Aβ1-38/40/42 isoforms. We observed an increase of up to 2.5 times of Tyr10 glycosylated Aβ peptides in CSF in six AD patients compared to seven non-AD patients. APP/Aβ sialylated O-glycans, including that of a Tyr residue, the first in a mammalian protein, may modulate APP processing, inhibiting the amyloidogenic pathway associated with AD.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108:11848-11853(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]