High-throughput IgG Fc N-glycosylation profiling by mass spectrometry of glycopeptides

J Proteome Res. 2013 Feb 1;12(2):821-31. doi: 10.1021/pr300887z. Epub 2013 Jan 18.


Age and sex dependence of subclass specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fc N-glycosylation was evaluated for 1709 individuals from two isolated human populations. IgGs were obtained from plasma by affinity purification using 96-well protein G monolithic plates and digested with trypsin. Fc N-glycopeptides were purified and analyzed by negative-mode MALDI-TOF-MS with 4-chloro-α-cyanocinnamic acid (Cl-CCA) matrix. Age-associated glycosylation changes were more pronounced in younger individuals (<57 years) than in older individuals (>57 years) and in females than in males. Galactosylation and sialylation decreased with increasing age and showed significant sex dependence. Interestingly, the most prominent drop in the levels of galactosylated and sialylated glycoforms in females was observed around the age of 45 to 60 years when females usually enter menopause. The incidence of bisecting N-acetylglucosamine increased in younger individuals and reached a plateau at older age. Furthermore, we compared the results to the total IgG N-glycosylation of the same populations recently analyzed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC). Significant differences were observed in the levels of galactosylation, bisecting N-acetylglucosamine and particularly sialylation, which were shown to be higher in HILIC analysis. Age and sex association of glycosylation features was, to a large extent, comparable between MALDI-TOF-MS and HILIC IgG glycosylation profiling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cinnamates / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glycopeptides / blood*
  • Glycosylation
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Trypsin / chemistry


  • 4-chloro-alpha-cyanocinnamic acid
  • Cinnamates
  • Glycopeptides
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Trypsin