Glycoproteomics enabled by tagging sialic acid- or galactose-terminated glycans

Glycobiology. 2013 Feb;23(2):211-21. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cws144. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


In this paper, we present two complementary strategies for enrichment of glycoproteins on living cells that combine the desirable attributes of "robust enrichment" afforded by covalent-labeling techniques and "specificity for glycoproteins" typically provided by lectin or antibody affinity reagents. Our strategy involves the selective introduction of aldehydes either into sialic acids by periodate oxidation (periodate oxidation and aniline-catalyzed oxime ligation (PAL)) or into terminal galactose and N-acetylgalactosamine residues by galactose oxidase (galactose oxidase and aniline-catalyzed oxime ligation (GAL)), followed by aniline-catalyzed oxime ligation with aminooxy-biotin to biotinylate the glycans of glycoprotein subpopulations with high efficiency and cell viability. As expected, the two methods exhibit reciprocal tagging efficiencies when applied to fully sialylated cells compared with sialic acid-deficient cells. To assess the utility of these labeling methods for glycoproteomics, we enriched the PAL- and GAL-labeled (biotinylated) glycoproteome by adsorption onto immobilized streptavidin. Glycoprotein identities (IDs) and N-glycosylation site information were then obtained by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry on total tryptic peptides and on peptides subsequently released from N-glycans still bound to the beads using peptide N-glycosidase F. A total of 175 unique N-glycosylation sites were identified, belonging to 108 nonredundant glycoproteins. Of the 108 glycoproteins, 48 were identified by both methods of labeling and the remainder was identified using PAL on sialylated cells (40) or GAL on sialic acid-deficient cells (20). Our results demonstrate that PAL and GAL can be employed as complementary methods of chemical tagging for targeted proteomics of glycoprotein subpopulations and identification of glycosylation sites of proteins on cells with an altered sialylation status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds* / chemistry
  • Aniline Compounds* / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Line
  • Galactose / metabolism*
  • Galactose Oxidase / chemistry
  • Galactose Oxidase / metabolism
  • Glycopeptides / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins* / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins* / metabolism
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / metabolism*
  • Oximes / chemistry
  • Oximes / metabolism
  • Periodic Acid / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Glycopeptides
  • Glycoproteins
  • Oximes
  • Polysaccharides
  • Periodic Acid
  • metaperiodate
  • Galactose Oxidase
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • aniline
  • Galactose