Glycoproteomics Landscape of Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Human Alzheimer's Disease Brain

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2022 Dec;21(12):100433. doi: 10.1016/j.mcpro.2022.100433. Epub 2022 Oct 27.


Molecular changes in the brain of individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are an intense area of study. Little is known about the role of protein abundance and posttranslational modifications in AD progression and treatment, in particular large-scale intact N-linked glycoproteomics analysis. To elucidate the N-glycoproteome landscape, we developed an approach based on multi-lectin affinity enrichment, hydrophilic interaction chromatography, and LC-MS-based glycoproteomics. We analyzed brain tissue from 10 persons with no cognitive impairment or AD, 10 with asymptomatic AD, and 10 with symptomatic AD, detecting over 300 glycoproteins and 1900 glycoforms across the samples. The majority of glycoproteins have N-glycans that are high-mannosidic or complex chains that are fucosylated and bisected. The Man5 N-glycan was found to occur most frequently at >20% of the total glycoforms. Unlike the glycoproteomes of other tissues, sialylation is a minor feature of the brain N-glycoproteome, occurring at <9% among the glycoforms. We observed AD-associated differences in the number of antennae, frequency of fucosylation, bisection, and other monosaccharides at individual glycosylation sites among samples from our three groups. Further analysis revealed glycosylation differences in subcellular compartments across disease stage, including glycoproteins in the lysosome frequently modified with paucimannosidic glycans. These results illustrate the N-glycoproteomics landscape across the spectrum of AD clinical and pathologic severity and will facilitate a deeper understanding of progression and treatment development.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; N-linked glycosylation; asymptomatic; glycoproteomics; lectin enrichment; symptomatic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Proteome / metabolism


  • Glycoproteins
  • Proteome
  • Polysaccharides