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Aust J Chem. 2013 Jul 18;66(7):760-769.

Molecular Characterization of Collagen Hydroxylysine O-Glycosylation by Mass Spectrometry: Current Status.

Author information

1
Mass Spectrometry Group, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, NC 27709, USA.
2
School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NC 27599, USA.

Abstract

The most abundant proteins in vertebrates - the collagen family proteins - play structural and biological roles in the body. The predominant member, type I collagen, provides tissues and organs with structure and connectivity. This protein has several unique post-translational modifications that take place intra- and extra-cellularly. With growing evidence of the relevance of such post-translational modifications in health and disease, the biological significance of O-linked collagen glycosylation has recently drawn increased attention. However, several aspects of this unique modification - the requirement for prior lysyl hydroxylation as a substrate, involvement of at least two distinct glycosyl transferases, its involvement in intermolecular crosslinking - have made its molecular mapping and quantitative characterization challenging. Such characterization is obviously crucial for understanding its biological significance. Recent progress in mass spectrometry has provided an unprecedented opportunity for this type of analysis. This review summarizes recent advances in the area of O-glycosylation of fibrillar collagens and their characterization using state-of-the-art liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based methodologies, and perspectives on future research. The analytical characterization of collagen crosslinking and advanced glycation end-products are not addressed here.

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