Carbohydrate analysis of glycoprotein hormones

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Bousfield, George R.
Baker, Vanda L.
Gotschall, R. Russell
Butnev, Viktor Y.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.). 2000 May; 21(1): 15-39.


Complete carbohydrate composition analysis of glycoprotein hormones, their subunits, and oligosaccharides isolated from individual glycosylation sites can be accomplished using high-pH anion-exchange chromatography combined with pulsed amperometric detection. Neutral and amino sugars are analyzed from the same hydrolyzate by isocratic chromatography on a Dionex CarboPAC PA1 column in 16 mM NaOH. Sialic acid is quantified following mild hydrolysis conditions on the same column in 150 mM sodium acetate in 150 mM NaOH. Ion chromatography on a Dionex AS4A column in 1.8 mM Na(2)CO(3)/1.7 mM NaHCO(3); postcolumn, in-line anion micromembrane suppression; and conductivity detection can be used to quantify sulfate, a common component of pituitary glycoprotein hormone oligosaccharides. Mass spectrometric analysis before and after elimination of oligosaccharides from a single glycosylation site can provide an estimate of the average oligosaccharide mass, which facilitates interpretation of oligosaccharide composition data. Following release by peptide N-glycanase (PNGase) digestion and purification by ultrafiltration, oligosaccharides can be characterized by a high-resolution oligosaccharide mapping technique using the same equipment employed for composition analysis. Oligosaccharide mapping can be applied to the entire hormone, individual subunits, or individual glycosylation sites by varying PNGase digestion conditions or substrates. Oligosaccharide release by PNGase is readily monitored by SDS-PAGE. Site-specific deglycosylation can be confirmed by amino acid sequence analysis. For routine isolation of oligosaccharides, addition of 2-aminobenzamide at the reducing terminus facilitates detection; however, the oligosaccharide retention times are altered. Composition analysis is also affected as the 2-aminobenzamide-modified GlcNAc peak overlaps the fucose peak.

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