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mSphere. 2019 Mar 27;4(2). pii: e00684-18. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00684-18.

Serum IgM Glycosylation Associated with Tuberculosis Infection in Mice.

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Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.
CIC bioGUNE, Derio, Bizkaia, Spain.
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Microbiology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Service of Microbiology, Hospital Universitario La Paz, IdiPaz, Madrid, Spain.
CIC bioGUNE, Derio, Bizkaia, Spain
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.


Changes in serum glycans discriminate between disease statuses in cancer. A similar connection has not been established in the context of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB). The inflammation arising from infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis may affect host protein glycosylation, thereby providing information about disease status in TB. A mouse model of infection was used to study glycoprotein N-glycosylation in serum. Following digestion of serum glycoproteins with peptide-N-glycosidase F (PNGase F), released glycans were permethylated and analyzed by multidimensional mass spectrometry (MS). Conditions included naive or Mycobacterium bovis BCG-vaccinated animals, which were either uninfected or infected with M. tuberculosis MS results were validated by lectin blotting. We found that both glycoprotein fucosylation and sialylation were particularly sensitive to M. tuberculosis infection. We observed that M. tuberculosis infection elevates serum IgM levels and induces changes in glycosylation that could inform about the disease.IMPORTANCE We demonstrate that M. tuberculosis infection influenced host protein glycosylation in a mouse model. The mechanism by which infection modifies glycans in serum proteins is not understood. Investigation of the regulation of such modifications by M. tuberculosis opens a new field that could lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers. Validation of such findings in human samples will reveal the clinical relevance of these findings.


IgM; Mycobacterium tuberculosis ; fucosylation; glycans; immunoglobulin M; mice

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