N-glycan structures and N-glycosylation sites of mouse soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 revealed by MALDI-TOF and FTICR mass spectrometry

Glycobiology. 2006 Nov;16(11):1033-44. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwl032. Epub 2006 Jul 28.


Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a heavily N-glycosylated transmembrane protein comprising five extracellular Ig-like domains. The soluble isoform of ICAM-1 (sICAM-1), consisting of its extracellular part, is elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with severe brain trauma. In mouse astrocytes, recombinant mouse sICAM-1 induces the production of the CXC chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). MIP-2 induction is glycosylation dependent, as it is strongly enhanced when sICAM-1 carries sialylated, complex-type N-glycans as synthesized by wild-type Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The present study was aimed at elucidating the N-glycosylation of mouse sICAM-1 expressed in wild-type CHO cells with regard to sialylation, N-glycan profile, and N-glycosylation sites. Ion-exchange chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) of the released N-glycans showed that sICAM-1 mostly carried di- and trisialylated complex-type N-glycans with or without one fucose. In some sialylated N-glycans, one N-acetylneuraminic acid was replaced by N-glycolylneuraminic acid, and approximately 4% carried a higher number of sialic acid residues than of antennae. The N-glycosylation sites of mouse sICAM-1 were analyzed by MALDI-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR)-MS and nanoLC-ESI-FTICR-MS of tryptic digests of mouse sICAM-1 expressed in the Lec1 mutant of CHO cells. All nine consensus sequences for N-glycosylation were found to be glycosylated. These results show that the N-glycans that enhance the MIP-2-inducing activity of mouse sICAM-1 are mostly di- and trisialylated complex-type N-glycans including a small fraction carrying more sialic acid residues than antennae and that the nine N-glycosylation sites of mouse sICAM-1 are all glycosylated.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Glycosylation
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Polysaccharides
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid