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LC-MS/MS characterization of O-glycosylation sites and glycan structures of human cerebrospinal fluid glycoproteins.

Halim A., Ruetschi U., Larson G., Nilsson J.

The GalNAc O-glycosylation on Ser/Thr residues of extracellular proteins has not been well characterized from a proteomics perspective. We previously reported a sialic acid capture-and-release protocol to enrich tryptic N- and O-glycopeptides from human cerebrospinal fluid glycoproteins using nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS with collision-induced dissociation (CID) for glycopeptide characterization. Here, we have introduced peptide N-glycosidase F (PNGase F) pretreatment of CSF samples to remove the N-glycans facilitating the selective characterization of O-glycopeptides and enabling the use of an automated CID-MS(2)/MS(3) search protocol for glycopeptide identification. We used electron-capture and -transfer dissociation (ECD/ETD) to pinpoint the glycosylation site(s) of the glycopeptides, identified as predominantly core-1-like HexHexNAc-O-structure attached to one to four Ser/Thr residues. We characterized 106 O-glycosylations and found Pro residues preferentially in the n - 1, n + 1, and/or n + 3 positions in relation to the Ser/Thr attachment site (n). The characterization of glycans and glycosylation sites in glycoproteins from human clinical samples provides a basis for future studies addressing the biological and diagnostic importance of specific protein glycosylations in relation to human disease.

J. Proteome Res. 12:573-584(2013) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]