Glycoproteomic analysis of the secretome of human endothelial cells

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013 Apr;12(4):956-78. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M112.024018. Epub 2013 Jan 23.


Previous proteomics studies have partially unraveled the complexity of endothelial protein secretion but have not investigated glycosylation, a key modification of secreted and membrane proteins for cell communication. In this study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were kept in serum-free medium before activation by phorbol-12-myristate-13 acetate, a commonly used secretagogue that induces exocytosis of endothelial vesicles. In addition to 123 secreted proteins, the secretome was particularly rich in membrane proteins. Glycopeptides were enriched by zwitterionic hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography resins and were either treated with PNGase F and H2(18)O or directly analyzed using a recently developed workflow combining higher-energy C-trap dissociation (HCD) with electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) for a hybrid linear ion trap-orbitrap mass spectrometer. After deglycosylation with PNGase F in the presence of H2(18)O, 123 unique peptides displayed (18)O-deamidation of asparagine, corresponding to 86 proteins with a total of 121 glycosylation sites. Direct glycopeptide analysis via HCD-ETD identified 131 glycopeptides from 59 proteins and 118 glycosylation sites, of which 41 were known, 51 were predicted, and 26 were novel. Two methods were compared: alternating HCD-ETD and HCD-product-dependent ETD. The former detected predominantly high-intensity, multiply charged glycopeptides, whereas the latter preferentially selected precursors with complex/hybrid glycans for fragmentation. Validation was performed by means of glycoprotein enrichment and analysis of the input, the flow-through, and the bound fraction. This study represents the most comprehensive characterization of endothelial protein secretion to date and demonstrates the potential of new HCD-ETD workflows for determining the glycosylation status of complex biological samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteome
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate