Correcting for sparsity and interdependence in glycomics by accounting for glycan biosynthesis.
ABSTRACT: Glycans are fundamental cellular building blocks, involved in many organismal functions. Advances in glycomics are elucidating the essential roles of glycans. Still, it remains challenging to properly analyze large glycomics datasets, since the abundance of each glycan is dependent on many other glycans that share many intermediate biosynthetic steps. Furthermore, the overlap of measured glycans can be low across samples. We address these challenges with GlyCompare, a glycomic data analysis approach that accounts for shared biosynthetic steps for all measured glycans to correct for sparsity and non-independence in glycomics, which enables direct comparison of different glycoprofiles and increases statistical power. Using GlyCompare, we study diverse N-glycan profiles from glycoengineered erythropoietin. We obtain biologically meaningful clustering of mutant cell glycoprofiles and identify knockout-specific effects of fucosyltransferase mutants on tetra-antennary structures. We further analyze human milk oligosaccharide profiles and find mother's fucosyltransferase-dependent secretor-status indirectly impact the sialylation. Finally, we apply our method on mucin-type O-glycans, gangliosides, and site-specific compositional glycosylation data to reveal tissues and disease-specific glycan presentations. Our substructure-oriented approach will enable researchers to take full advantage of the growing power and size of glycomics data.
Project description:Proteomics-large-scale studies of proteins-has over the last decade gained an enormous interest for studies aimed at revealing proteins and pathways involved in disease. To fully understand biological and pathological processes it is crucial to also include post-translational modifications in the "omics". To this end, glycomics (identification and quantification of glycans enzymatically or chemically released from proteins) and glycoproteomics (identification and quantification of peptides/proteins with the glycans still attached) is gaining interest. The study of protein glycosylation requires a workflow that involves an array of sample preparation and analysis steps that needs to be carefully considered. Herein, we briefly touch upon important steps such as sample preparation and preconcentration, glycan release, glycan derivatization and quantification and advances in mass spectrometry that today are the work-horse for glycomics and glycoproteomics studies. Several proteins related to Alzheimer disease pathogenesis have altered protein glycosylation, and recent glycomics studies have shown differences in cerebrospinal fluid as well as in brain tissue in Alzheimer disease as compared to controls. In this review, we discuss these techniques and how they have been used to shed light on Alzheimer disease and to find glycan biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid.
Project description:Glycans have essential roles in biology and the etiology of many diseases. A major hurdle in studying glycans through functional glycomics is the lack of methods to release glycans from diverse types of biological samples. Here we describe an oxidative strategy using household bleach to release all types of free reducing N-glycans and O-glycan-acids from glycoproteins, and glycan nitriles from glycosphingolipids. Released glycans are directly useful in glycomic analyses and can be derivatized fluorescently for functional glycomics. This chemical method overcomes the limitations in glycan generation and promotes archiving and characterization of human and animal glycomes and their functions.
Project description:Major challenges of glycomics are to characterize a glycome and identify functional glycans as ligands for glycan-binding proteins (GBPs). To address these issues we developed a general strategy termed shotgun glycomics. We focus on glycosphingolipids (GSLs), a class of glycoconjugates that is challenging to study, recognized by toxins, antibodies and GBPs. We derivatized GSLs extracted from cells with a heterobifunctional fluorescent tag suitable for covalent immobilization. We separated fluorescent GSLs by multidimensional chromatography, quantified them and coupled them to glass slides to create GSL shotgun microarrays. Then we interrogated the microarrays with cholera toxin, antibodies and sera from individuals with Lyme disease to identify biologically relevant GSLs that we subsequently characterized by mass spectrometry. Shotgun glycomics incorporating GSLs and potentially glycoprotein-derived glycans is an approach for accessing the complex glycomes of animal cells and is a strategy for focusing structural analyses on functionally important glycans.
Project description:The biological significance of protein and lipid glycosylation is well established. For example, cells respond to environmental stimuli by altering glycan structures on their surfaces, and cancer cells evade normal growth regulation in part by remodeling their surface glycans. In general, glycan chemical properties differ significantly from those of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and small molecule metabolites. Thus, advances in glycomics, a comprehensive study to identify all glycans in an organism, rely on the development of specialized analytical methods. Mass spectrometry (MS) is emerging as an enabling technology in the field of glycomics. This review summarizes recent developments in mass spectrometric analysis methods for protein-based glycomics and glycoproteomics workflows.
Project description:To aid in generating complex and diverse natural glycan libraries for functional glycomics, more efficient and reliable methods are needed to derivatize glycans. Here we present our development of a reversible, cleavable bifunctional linker 3-(methoxyamino)propylamine (MAPA). As the fluorenylmethyloxycarbonate (Fmoc) version (F-MAPA), it is highly fluorescent and efficiently derivatizes free reducing glycans to generate closed-ring derivatives that preserve the structural integrity of glycans. A library of glycans were derivatized and used to generate a covalent glycan microarray using N-hydroxysuccinimide derivatization. The array was successfully interrogated by a variety of lectins and antibodies, demonstrating the importance of closed-ring chemistry. The glycan derivatization was also performed at large scale using milligram quantities of glycans and excess F-MAPA, and the reaction system was successfully recycled up to five times, without an apparent decrease in conjugation efficiency. The MAPA-glycan is also easy to link to protein to generate neoglycoproteins with equivalent glycan densities. Importantly, the MAPA linker can be reversibly cleaved to regenerate free reducing glycans for detailed structural analysis (catch-and-release), often critical for functional studies of undefined glycans from natural sources. The high conjugation efficiency, bright fluorescence, and reversible cleavage of the linker enable access to natural glycans for functional glycomics.
Project description:The mass spectrometry (MS)-based analysis of free polysaccharides and glycans released from proteins, lipids and proteoglycans increasingly relies on databases and software. Here, we review progress in the bioinformatics analysis of protein-released N- and O-linked glycans (N- and O-glycomics) and propose an e-infrastructure to overcome current deficits in data and experimental transparency. This workflow enables the standardized submission of MS-based glycomics information into the public repository UniCarb-DR. It implements the MIRAGE (Minimum Requirement for A Glycomics Experiment) reporting guidelines, storage of unprocessed MS data in the GlycoPOST repository and glycan structure registration using the GlyTouCan registry, thereby supporting the development and extension of a glycan structure knowledgebase.
Project description:Glycans present extraordinary structural diversity commensurate with their involvement in numerous fundamental cellular processes including growth, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Unlike linear DNA and protein sequences, glycans have heterogeneous structures that differ in composition, branching, linkage, and anomericity. These differences pose a challenge to developing useful software for glycomic analysis. To overcome this problem, we developed the novel Toolbox Accelerating Glycomics (TAG) program. TAG consists of three units: 'TAG List' creates a glycan list that is used for database searching in TAG Expression; 'TAG Expression' automatically annotates and quantifies glycan signals and draws graphs; and 'TAG Pathway' maps the obtained expression information to biosynthetic pathways. Herein, we discuss the concepts, outline the TAG process, and demonstrate its potential using glycomic expression profile data from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and mutants lacking a functional Npc1 gene (Npc1 knockout (KO) CHO cells). TAG not only drastically reduced the amount of time and labor needed for glycomic analysis but also detected and quantified more glycans than manual analysis. Although this study was limited to the analysis of N-glycans and free oligosaccharides, the glycomic platform will be expanded to facilitate the analysis of O-glycans and glycans of glycosphingolipids.
Project description:Infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a major health risk owing to birth defects, its chronic nature, ability to reactivate to cause blindness and encephalitis, and high prevalence in human populations. Unlike most eukaryotes, Toxoplasma propagates in intracellular parasitophorous vacuoles, but like nearly all other eukaryotes, Toxoplasma glycosylates many cellular proteins and lipids and assembles polysaccharides. Toxoplasma glycans resemble those of other eukaryotes, but species-specific variations have prohibited deeper investigations into their roles in parasite biology and virulence. The Toxoplasma genome encodes a suite of likely glycogenes expected to assemble N-glycans, O-glycans, a C-glycan, GPI-anchors, and polysaccharides, along with their precursors and membrane transporters. To investigate the roles of specific glycans in Toxoplasma, here we coupled genetic and glycomics approaches to map the connections between 67 glycogenes, their enzyme products, the glycans to which they contribute, and cellular functions. We applied a double-CRISPR/Cas9 strategy, in which two guide RNAs promote replacement of a candidate gene with a resistance gene; adapted MS-based glycomics workflows to test for effects on glycan formation; and infected fibroblast monolayers to assess cellular effects. By editing 17 glycogenes, we discovered novel Glc0-2-Man6-GlcNAc2-type N-glycans, a novel HexNAc-GalNAc-mucin-type O-glycan, and Tn-antigen; identified the glycosyltransferases for assembling novel nuclear O-Fuc-type and cell surface Glc-Fuc-type O-glycans; and showed that they are important for in vitro growth. The guide sequences, editing constructs, and mutant strains are freely available to researchers to investigate the roles of glycans in their favorite biological processes.
Project description:Glycan is an important class of macromolecules that play numerous biological functions. Quantitative glycomics--analysis of glycans at global level--however, is far behind genomics and proteomics owing to technical challenges associated with their chemical properties and structural complexity. As a result, technologies that can facilitate global glycan analysis are highly sought after. Here, we present QUANTITY (Quaternary Amine Containing Isobaric Tag for Glycan), a quantitative approach that can not only enhance detection of glycans by mass spectrometry, but also allow high-throughput glycomic analysis from multiple biological samples. This robust tool enabled us to accomplish glycomic survey of bioengineered Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells with knock-in/out enzymes involved in protein glycosylation. Our results demonstrated QUANTITY is an invaluable technique for glycan analysis and bioengineering.
Project description:Over half of all proteins are glycosylated, and alterations in glycosylation have been observed in numerous physiological and pathological processes. Attached glycans significantly affect protein function; but, contrary to polypeptides, they are not directly encoded by genes, and the complex processes that regulate their assembly are poorly understood. A novel approach combining genome-wide association and high-throughput glycomics analysis of 2,705 individuals in three population cohorts showed that common variants in the Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1? (HNF1?) and fucosyltransferase genes FUT6 and FUT8 influence N-glycan levels in human plasma. We show that HNF1? and its downstream target HNF4? regulate the expression of key fucosyltransferase and fucose biosynthesis genes. Moreover, we show that HNF1? is both necessary and sufficient to drive the expression of these genes in hepatic cells. These results reveal a new role for HNF1? as a master transcriptional regulator of multiple stages in the fucosylation process. This mechanism has implications for the regulation of immunity, embryonic development, and protein folding, as well as for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer, coronary heart disease, and metabolic and inflammatory disorders.