Sample handling of gastric tissue and O-glycan alterations in paired gastric cancer and non-tumorigenic tissues

Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 10;8(1):242. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18299-6.


Sample collection, handling and storage are the most critical steps for ensuring the highest preservation of specimens. Pre-analytical variability can influence the results as protein signatures alter rapidly after tissue excision or during long-term storage. Hence, we evaluated current state-of-the-art biobank preservation methods from a glycomics perspective and analyzed O-glycan alterations occurring in the gastric cancer tissues. Paired tumor and adjacent normal tissue samples were obtained from six patients undergoing gastric cancer surgery. Collected samples (n = 24) were either snap-frozen or heat stabilized and then homogenized. Glycans were released from extracted glycoproteins and analyzed by LC-MS/MS. In total, the relative abundance of 83 O-glycans and 17 derived structural features were used for comparison. There was no statistically significant difference found in variables between snap frozen and heat-stabilized samples, which indicated the two preservation methods were comparable. The data also showed significant changes between normal and cancerous tissue. In addition to a shift from high sialylation in the cancer area towards blood group ABO in the normal area, we also detected that the LacdiNAc epitope (N,N'-diacetyllactosamine) was significantly decreased in cancer samples. The O-glycan alterations that are presented here may provide predictive power for the detection and prognosis of gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Glycoproteins
  • Polysaccharides