Resolving Isomeric Glycopeptide Glycoforms with Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography (HILIC).
ABSTRACT: The ability to resolve glycans while attached to tryptic peptides would greatly facilitate glycoproteomics, as this would enable site-specific glycan characterization. Peptide/glycopeptide separations are typically performed using reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC), where retention is driven by hydrophobic interaction. As the hydrophilic glycans do not interact significantly with the RPLC stationary phase, it is difficult to resolve glycopeptides that differ only in their glycan structure, even when these differences are large. Alternatively, glycans interact extensively with the stationary phases used in hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC), and consequently, differences in glycan structure have profound chromatographic shifts in this chromatographic mode. Here, we evaluate HILIC for the separation of isomeric glycopeptide mixtures that have the same peptide backbone but isomeric glycans. Hydrophilic functional groups on both the peptide and the glycan interact with the HILIC stationary phase, and thus, changes to either of these moieties can alter the chromatographic behavior of a glycopeptide. The interactive processes permit glycopeptides to be resolved from each other based on differences in their amino acid sequences and/or their attached glycans. The separations of glycans in HILIC are sufficient to permit resolution of isomeric N-glycan structures, such as sialylated N-glycan isomers differing in α2-3 and α2-6 linkages, while these glycans remain attached to peptides.
Project description:Protein glycosylation analysis is challenging due to the structural variety of complex conjugates. However, chromatographically separating glycans attached to tryptic peptides enables their site-specific characterization. For this purpose, we have shown the importance of selecting a suitable hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) stationary phase in the separation of glycopeptides and their isomers. Three different HILIC stationary phases, i.e., HALO® penta-HILIC, Glycan ethylene bridged hybrid (BEH) Amide, and ZIC-HILIC, were compared in the separation of complex N-glycopeptides of hemopexin and Immunoglobulin G glycoproteins. The retention time increased with the polarity of the glycans attached to the same peptide backbone in all HILIC columns tested in this study, except for the ZIC-HILIC column when adding sialic acid to the glycan moiety, which caused electrostatic repulsion with the negatively charged sulfobetaine functional group, thereby decreasing retention. The HALO® penta-HILIC column provided the best separation results, and the ZIC-HILIC column the worst. Moreover, we showed the potential of these HILIC columns for the isomeric separation of fucosylated and sialylated glycoforms. Therefore, HILIC is a useful tool for the comprehensive characterization of glycoproteins and their isomers.
Project description:Analysis of the glycosylation of proteins is a challenge that requires orthogonal methods to achieve separation of the diverse glycoforms. A combination of reversed phase chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (RP-LC-MS/MS) is one of the most powerful tools for glycopeptide analysis. In this work, we developed and compared RP-LC and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) in nanoscale on a chip combined with MS/MS in order to separate glycoforms of two peptides obtained from the tryptic digest of hemopexin. We observed reduction of the retention time with decreasing polarity of glycans attached to the same peptide backbone in HILIC. The opposite effect was observed for RP-LC. The presence of sialic acids prolonged the retention of glycopeptides in both chromatographic modes. The nanoHILIC method provided higher selectivity based on the composition of glycan, compared to nanoRP-LC but a lower sensitivity. The nanoHILIC method was able to partially separate linkage isomers of fucose (core and outer arm) on bi-antennary glycoform of SWPAVGDCSSALR glycopeptide, which is beneficial in the elucidation of the structure of the fucosylated glycoforms.
Project description:Various glycomic analysis methods have been developed due to the essential roles of glycans in biological processes as well as the potential application of glycomics in biomarker discovery in many diseases. Permethylation is currently considered to be one of the most common derivatization methods in MS-based glycomic analysis. Permethylation not only improves ionization efficiency and stability of sialylated glycans in positive mode but also allows for enhanced separation performance on reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). Recently, RPLC-MS analysis of permethylated glycans exhibited excellent performance in sensitivity and reproducibility and became a widely-applied comprehensive strategy in glycomics. However, separating permethylated glycans by RPLC always suffers from peak broadening for high-molecular-weight branched glycans, which probably due to the low exchange rate between the stationary phase and mobile phase limited by intermolecular interactions of the methyl groups associated with the branching of the glycan structures. In this study, we employed high separation temperature conditions for RPLC of permethylated glycans, thus achieving enhanced peak capacity, improving peak shape, and enhancing separation efficiency. Additionally, partial isomeric separation were observed in RPLC of permethylated glycans at high-temperature. Mathematical processing of the correlation between retention time and molecular weight also revealed the advantage of high-temperature LC method for both manual and automatic glycan identification.
Project description:Profiling of body fluids is crucial for monitoring and discovering metabolic markers of health and disease and for providing insights into human physiology. Since human urine and plasma each contain an extreme diversity of metabolites, a single liquid chromatographic system when coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) is not sufficient to achieve reasonable metabolome coverage. Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) offers complementary information to reverse-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) by retaining polar metabolites. With the objective of finding the optimal combined chromatographic solution to profile urine and plasma, we systematically investigated the performance of five HILIC columns with different chemistries operated at three different pH (acidic, neutral, basic) and five C18-silica RPLC columns. The zwitterionic column ZIC-HILIC operated at neutral pH provided optimal performance on a large set of hydrophilic metabolites. The RPLC columns Hypersil GOLD and Zorbax SB aq were proven to be best suited for the metabolic profiling of urine and plasma, respectively. Importantly, the optimized HILIC-MS method showed excellent intrabatch peak area reproducibility (CV < 12%) and good long-term interbatch (40 days) peak area reproducibility (CV < 22%) that were similar to those of RPLC-MS procedures. Finally, combining the optimal HILIC- and RPLC-MS approaches greatly expanded metabolome coverage with 44% and 108% new metabolic features detected compared with RPLC-MS alone for urine and plasma, respectively. The proposed combined LC-MS approaches improve the comprehensiveness of global metabolic profiling of body fluids and thus are valuable for monitoring and discovering metabolic changes associated with health and disease in clinical research studies.
Project description:In this work, the capability of newly developed hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI) platform for quantitative analysis of N-glycans has been demonstrated. As a proof-of-principle experiment, heavy and light stable-isotope labeled hydrazide reagents labeled maltodextrin ladder were used to demonstrate the feasibility of the HILIC-MALDI-MSI platform for reliable quantitative analysis of N-glycans. MALDI-MSI analysis by an Orbitrap mass spectrometer enabled high-resolution and high-sensitivity detection of N-glycans eluted from HILIC column, allowing the re-construction of LC chromatograms as well as accurate mass measurements for structural inference. MALDI-MSI analysis of the collected LC traces showed that the chromatographic resolution was preserved. The N-glycans released from human serum was used to demonstrate the utility of this novel platform in quantitative analysis of N-glycans from a complex sample. Benefiting from the minimized ion suppression provided by HILIC separation, comparison between MALDI-MS and the newly developed platform HILIC-MALDI-MSI revealed that HILIC-MALDI-MSI provided higher N-glycan coverage as well as better quantitation accuracy in the quantitative analysis of N-glycans released from human serum. Graphical abstract Reconstructed chromatograms based on HILIC-MALDI-MSI results of heavy and light labeled maltodextrin enabling quantitative glycan analysis.
Project description:Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) is a powerful and essential technique for metabolite annotation in untargeted metabolomic applications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of diverse tandem MS (MS/MS) acquisition modes, i.e., all ion fragmentation (AIF) and data-dependent analysis (DDA), with and without ion mobility spectrometry (IM), to annotate metabolites in human plasma. The influence of the LC separation was also evaluated by comparing the performance of MS/MS acquisition in combination with three complementary chromatographic separation modes: reversed-phase chromatography (RPLC) and hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) with either an amide (aHILIC) or a zwitterionic (zHILIC) stationary phase. RPLC conditions were first chosen to investigate all the tandem MS modes, and we found out that DDA did not provide a significant additional amount of chemical coverage and that cleaner MS/MS spectra can be obtained by performing AIF acquisitions in combination with IM. Finally, we were able to annotate 338 unique metabolites and demonstrated that zHILIC was a powerful complementary approach to both the RPLC and aHILIC chromatographic modes. Moreover, a better analytical throughput was reached for an almost negligible loss of metabolite coverage when IM-AIF and AIF using ramped instead of fixed collision energies were used.
Project description:Glycopeptide enrichment is a crucial step in glycoproteomics for which hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) has extensively been applied due to its low bias towards different glycan types. A systematic evaluation of applicable HILIC mobile phases on glycopeptide enrichment efficiency and selectivity is, to date, however, still lacking. Here, we present a novel, simplified technique for HILIC enrichment termed "Drop-HILIC", which was applied to systematically evaluate the mobile phase effect on ZIC-HILIC (zwitterionic type of hydrophilic interaction chromatography) glycopeptide enrichment. The four most commonly used MS compatible organic solvents were investigated: (i) acetonitrile, (ii) methanol, (iii) ethanol and (iv) isopropanol. Glycopeptide enrichment efficiencies were evaluated for each solvent system using samples of increasing complexity ranging from well-defined synthetic glycopeptides spiked into different concentrations of tryptic BSA peptides, followed by standard glycoproteins, and a complex sample derived from human (depleted and non-depleted) serum. ZIC-HILIC glycopeptide efficiency largely relied upon the used solvent. Different organic mobile phases enriched distinct glycopeptide subsets in a peptide backbone hydrophilicity-dependant manner. Acetonitrile provided the best compromise for the retention of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic glycopeptides, whereas methanol was confirmed to be unsuitable for this purpose. The enrichment efficiency of ethanol and isopropanol towards highly hydrophobic glycopeptides was compromised as considerable co-enrichment of unmodified peptides occurred, though for some hydrophobic glycopeptides isopropanol showed the best enrichment properties. This study shows that even minor differences in the peptide backbone and solvent do significantly influence HILIC glycopeptide enrichment and need to be carefully considered when employed for glycopeptide enrichment. Graphical Abstract The organic solvent plays a crucial role in ZIC-HILIC glycopeptide enrichment.
Project description:Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) is appropriate for all native and reductively aminated glycan classes. HILIC carries the advantage that retention times vary predictably according to oligosaccharide composition. Chromatographic conditions are compatible with sensitive and reproducible glycomics analysis of large numbers of samples. The data are extremely useful for quantitative profiling of glycans expressed in biological tissues. With these analytical developments, the rate-limiting factor for widespread use of HILIC LC/MS in glycomics is the analysis of the data. In order to eliminate this problem, a Java-based open source software tool, Manatee, was developed for targeted analysis of HILIC LC/MS glycan datasets. This tool uses user-defined lists of compositions that specify the glycan chemical space in a given biological context. The program accepts high-resolution LC/MS data using the public mzXML format and is capable of processing a large data file in a few minutes on a standard desktop computer. The program allows mining of HILIC LC/MS data with an output compatible with multivariate statistical analysis. It is envisaged that the Manatee tool will complement more computationally intensive LC/MS processing tools based on deconvolution and deisotoping of LC/MS data. The capabilities of the tool were demonstrated using a set of HILIC LC/MS data on organ-specific heparan sulfates.
Project description:Although it is common in untargeted metabolomics to apply reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) methods that have been systematically optimized for lipids and central carbon metabolites, here we show that these established protocols provide poor coverage of semipolar metabolites because of inadequate retention. Our objective was to develop an RPLC approach that improved detection of these metabolites without sacrificing lipid coverage. We initially evaluated columns recently released by Waters under the CORTECS line by analyzing 47 small-molecule standards that evenly span the nonpolar and semipolar ranges. An RPLC method commonly used in untargeted metabolomics was considered a benchmarking reference. We found that highly nonpolar and semipolar metabolites cannot be reliably profiled with any single method because of retention and solubility limitations of the injection solvent. Instead, we optimized a multiplexed approach using the CORTECS T3 column to analyze semipolar compounds and the CORTECS C8 column to analyze lipids. Strikingly, we determined that combining these methods allowed detection of 41 of the total 47 standards, whereas our reference RPLC method detected only 10 of the 47 standards. We then applied credentialing to compare method performance at the comprehensive scale. The tandem method showed more than a fivefold increase in credentialing coverage relative to our RPLC benchmark. Our results demonstrate that comprehensive coverage of metabolites amenable to reversed-phase separation necessitates two reconstitution solvents and chromatographic methods. Thus, we suggest complementing HILIC methods with a dual T3 and C8 RPLC approach to increase coverage of semipolar metabolites and lipids for untargeted metabolomics. Graphical abstract Analysis of semipolar and nonpolar metabolites necessitates two reversed-phase chromatography (RPLC) methods, which extend metabolome coverage more than fivefold for untargeted profiling. HILIC hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography.
Project description:Reversed-phase chromatographic separation of glycopeptides tends to be dominated by the peptide composition. In contrast, capillary zone electrophoresis separation of glycopeptides is particularly sensitive to the sialic acid composition of the glycan. In this paper, we combine the two techniques to achieve superior N-glycopeptide analysis. Glycopeptides were first isolated from a tryptic digest using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) solid-phase extraction. The glycopeptides were separated using reversed-phase ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) to generate four fractions corresponding to different peptide backbones. Capillary zone electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (CZE-ESI-MS/MS) was used to analyze the fractions. We applied this method for the analysis of alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). A total of 268 site-specific N-glycopeptides were detected, representing eight different glycosylation sites from two isomers of AGP. Glycans included tetra-sialic acids with multi N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) repeats and unusual pentasialylated terminal sialic acids. Reversed-phase UHPLC coupled with CZE generated ?35% more N-glycopeptides than direct reversed-phase UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis and ?70% more N-glycopeptides than direct CZE-ESI-MS/MS analysis. This approach is a promising tool for global, site-specific glycosylation analysis of highly heterogeneous glycoproteins with mass-limited samples.