N-glycans show distinct spatial distribution in mouse brain

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 May 30:2023.05.30.542954. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.30.542954.


Protein N-linked glycosylation is a ubiquitous modification in the secretory pathway that plays a critical role in the development and function of the brain. N-glycans have a distinct composition and undergo tight regulation in the brain, but the spatial distribution of these structures remains relatively unexplored. Here, we systematically employed carbohydrate binding lectins with differing specificities to various classes of N-glycans and appropriate controls to identify multiple regions of the mouse brain. Lectins binding high-mannose-type N-glycans, the most abundant class of brain N-glycans, showed diffuse staining with some punctate structures observed on high magnification. Lectins binding specific motifs of complex N-glycans, including fucose and bisecting GlcNAc, showed more partitioned labeling, including to the synapse-rich molecular layer of the cerebellum. Understanding the distribution of N-glycans across the brain will aid future studies of these critical protein modifications in development and disease of the brain.

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