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Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Jun;21(6):667-72. Epub 2003 May 18.

Lectin affinity capture, isotope-coded tagging and mass spectrometry to identify N-linked glycoproteins.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan.


We describe here a strategy for the large-scale identification of N-glycosylated proteins from a complex biological sample. The approach, termed isotope-coded glycosylation-site-specific tagging (IGOT), is based on the lectin column-mediated affinity capture of a set of glycopeptides generated by tryptic digestion of protein mixtures, followed by peptide-N-glycosidase-mediated incorporation of a stable isotope tag, 18O, specifically into the N-glycosylation site. The 18O-tagged peptides are then identified by multi-dimensional liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based technology. The application of this method to the characterization of N-linked high-mannose and/or hybrid-type glycoproteins from an extract of Caenorhabditis elegans proteins allowed the identification of 250 glycoproteins, including 83 putative transmembrane proteins, with the simultaneous determination of 400 unique N-glycosylation sites. Because the method is applicable to the systematic identification of a wide range of glycoproteins, it should facilitate basic glycobiology research and may be useful for diagnostic applications, such as genome-wide screening for disease-related glycoproteins.

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