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Anal Chem. 2019 Sep 20. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b02620. [Epub ahead of print]

In-Depth Compositional and Structural Characterization of N-Glycans Derived from Human Urinary Exosomes.


The study of exosomes has become increasingly popular due to their potentially important biological roles. Urine can be used as an effective source of exosomes for noninvasive investigations into the pathophysiological states of the genitourinary tract, but first, detailed characterization of exosomal components in healthy individuals is essential. Here, we significantly extend the number of N-glycan compositions, including sulfated species, identified from urinary exosomes and determine the sialic acid linkages for many of those compositions. Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS), and capillary liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to identify N-glycan and sulfated N-glycan compositions. Second, because the alteration of sialylation patterns has been previously implicated in various disease states, ion-exchange chromatography, microfluidic capillary electrophoresis (CE), and MALDI-MS were adopted to resolve positional isomers of sialic acids. Structures of the sialyl-linkage isomers were assigned indirectly through α2-3 sialidase treatment and sialic acid linkage-specific alkylamidation (SALSA). In total, we have identified 219 N-glycan structures that include 175 compositions, 64 sialic acid linkage isomers, and 27 sulfated N-glycan structures.

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