8-plex LC-MS/MS Analysis of Permethylated N-Glycans Achieved by Using Stable Isotopic Iodomethane

Xue Dong, Wenjing Peng, Chuan Yih Yu, Shiyue Zhou, Kaitlyn B. Donohoo, Haixu Tang, Yehia Mechref

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Glycosylation is an important post-translational modification of proteins. Many diseases, such as cancer, have proved to be related to aberrant glycosylation. High throughput quantitative methods have gained attention recently in the study of glycomics. With the development of high-resolution mass spectrometry, the sensitivity of detection in glycomics has largely improved; however, most of the commonly used MS-based techniques are focused on relative quantitative analysis, which can hardly provide direct comparative glycomic quantitation results. In this study, we developed a novel multiplex glycomic analysis method on an LC-ESI-MS platform. Reduced glycans were stable isotopic labeled during the permethylation procedure, with the use of iodomethane reagents CH2DI, CHD2I, CD3I, 13CH3I, 13CH2DI, 13CHD2I, 13CD3I, and CH3I. Up to 8-plex glycomic profiling was possible in a single analysis by LC-MS, and a 100 k mass resolution was sufficient to allow a baseline resolution of the mass differences among the 8-plex labeled glycans. The major advantages of this method are that it overcomes quantitative fluctuations caused by nanoESI, it facilitates a level of comparative quantitative glycomic analysis that accurately reflects the quantitative information in samples, and it dramatically shortens analysis time. Quantitation validation was tested on glycans released from bovine fetuin and model glycoprotein mixtures (RNase B, bovine fetuin, and IgG) with good linearity (R2 = 0.9884) and a dynamic range from 0.1 to 10. The 8-plex strategy was successfully applied to a comparative glycomic study of cancer cell lines. The results demonstrate that different distributions of sialylated glycans are related to the metastatic properties of cell lines and provide important clues for a better understanding of breast cancer brain metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11794-11802
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 17 2019


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