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Elucidation of differences in N-glycosylation between different molecular weight forms of recombinant CLEC-2 by LC MALDI tandem MS

Carbohydrate Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.carres.2014.07.005
  • Recombinant Clec-2
  • N-Glycosylation Difference
  • Intact Glycopeptides
  • Liquid Chromatography
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Biology


Abstract C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2) is a newly identified receptor expressed on the platelet surface. It has been reported that CLEC-2 exists as a higher molecular weight (HMW) and a lower molecular weight (LMW) form, which shares the same protein core but differs in glycans. The two forms appear to have different ligand-binding abilities, indicating that the differential glycosylation of CLEC-2 possibly produces functionally distinct glycoforms. This study aimed to explore an easy method to directly elucidate the N-glycosylation difference by employing a glycoproteomics approach. The off-line coupling of nano-LC with a MALDI-QIT-TOF mass spectrometer was demonstrated to be capable of sensitive and direct elucidation of the glycosylation difference between HMW and LMW CLEC-2, simultaneously providing information about their oligosaccharide structures and the glycosylation sites. The results reveal that a specific glycosylation site, Asn 134, is differently glycosylated in the two forms, with complex types of bi-antennary, tri-antennary and tetra-antennary, N-linked, fucosylated glycans identified at this site in the HMW form but not in the LMW form. The observed difference in glycosylation might provide new insights into the underlying mechanisms of biological functions of CLEC-2. Because of its simplicity and sensitivity, the method explored in this work suggests that it holds promise as a method of elucidating differences in direct N-glycosylation of target glycoprotein, even in small amount of samples.

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