Glycoproteomics-Compatible MS/MS-Based Quantification of Glycopeptide Isomers

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Glycosylation is an essential protein modification occurring on the majority of extracellular human proteins, with mass spectrometry (MS) being an indispensable tool for its analysis, that not only determines glycan compositions, but also the position of the glycan at specific sites via glycoproteomics. However, glycans are complex branching structures with monosaccharides interconnected in a variety of biologically relevant linkages, isomeric properties that are invisible when the readout is mass alone. Here, we developed an LC-MS/MS-based workflow for determining glycopeptide isomer ratios. Making use of isomerically defined glyco(peptide) standards, we observed marked differences in fragmentation behavior between isomer pairs when subjected to collision energy gradients, specifically in terms of the galactosylation/sialylation branching and linkage. These behaviors were developed into component variables that allowed for relative quantification of isomerism within mixtures. Importantly, at least for small peptides, the isomer quantification appeared to be largely independent from the peptide portion of the conjugate, allowing a broad application of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9605-9614
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2023


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