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1.  Mass Spectrometry of Glycans 
Biochemistry. Biokhimiia  2013;78(7):710-720.
Powerful new strategies based on mass spectrometry are revolutionizing the structural analysis and profiling of glycans and glycoconjugates. We survey here the major biosynthetic pathways that underlie the biological diversity in glycobiology, with emphasis on glycoproteins, and the approaches that can be used to address the resulting heterogeneity. Included among these are derivatizations, on- and off-line chromatography, electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, and a variety of dissociation methods, the recently introduced electron-based techniques being of particular interest.
PMCID: PMC4104780  PMID: 24010834
mass spectrometry; MS/MS; glycobiology; structural determinations; biosynthesis; chromatography; derivatives
2.  Energy-Dependent Electron Activated Dissociation of Metal-Adducted Permethylated Oligosaccharides 
Analytical chemistry  2012;84(17):7487-7494.
The effects of varying the electron energy and cationizing agents on electron activated dissociation (ExD) of metal-adducted oligosaccharides were explored, using permethylated maltoheptaose as the model system. Across the examined range of electron energy, the metal-adducted oligosaccharide exhibited several fragmentation processes, including electron capture dissociation (ECD) at low energies, hot-ECD at intermediate energies, and electronic excitation dissociation (EED) at high energies. The dissociation threshold depended on the metal charge carrier(s), whereas the types and sequence spans of product ions were influenced by the metal-oligosaccharide binding pattern. Theoretical modeling contributed insight into the metal-dependent behavior of carbohydrates during low-energy ECD. When ExD was applied to a permethylated high mannose N-linked glycan, EED provided more structural information than either collision-induced dissociation (CID) or low-energy ECD, thus demonstrating its potential for oligosaccharide linkage analysis.
PMCID: PMC3568493  PMID: 22881449
3.  MIRAGE: The minimum information required for a glycomics experiment 
Glycobiology  2014;24(5):402-406.
The MIRAGE (minimum information required for a glycomics experiment) initiative was founded in Seattle, WA, in November 2011 in order to develop guidelines for reporting the qualitative and quantitative results obtained by diverse types of glycomics analyses, including the conditions and techniques that were applied to prepare the glycans for analysis and generate the primary data along with the tools and parameters that were used to process and annotate this data. These guidelines must address a broad range of issues, as glycomics data are inherently complex and are generated using diverse methods, including mass spectrometry (MS), chromatography, glycan array-binding assays, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other rapidly developing technologies. The acceptance of these guidelines by scientists conducting research on biological systems in which glycans have a significant role will facilitate the evaluation and reproduction of glycomics experiments and data that is reported in scientific journals and uploaded to glycomics databases. As a first step, MIRAGE guidelines for glycan analysis by MS have been recently published (Kolarich D, Rapp E, Struwe WB, Haslam SM, Zaia J., et al. 2013. The minimum information required for a glycomics experiment (MIRAGE) project – Improving the standards for reporting mass spectrometry-based glycoanalytic data. Mol. Cell Proteomics. 12:991–995), allowing them to be implemented and evaluated in the context of real-world glycobiology research. In this paper, we set out the historical context, organization structure and overarching objectives of the MIRAGE initiative.
PMCID: PMC3976285  PMID: 24653214
4.  Proteomic mapping of stimulus-specific signaling pathways involved in THP-1 cells exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis or its purified components 
Journal of proteome research  2007;6(6):2211-2221.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease initiated by host-parasite interactions which contributes to connective tissue destruction and alveolar bone resorption. Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.), a black-pigmented Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium, is a major pathogen in the development and progression of periodontitis. To characterize the role that Porphyromonas gingivalis and its cell surface components play in disease processes, we investigated the differential expression of proteins induced by live P.g., P.g LPS and P.g FimA, using two dimensional gel electrophoresis in combination with mass spectrometry. We have tested whether, at the level of protein expression, unique signaling pathways are differentially induced by the bacterial components P.g. LPS and P.g. FimA, as compared to live P.g..
We found that P.g. LPS stimulation of THP-1 up-regulated the expression of a set of proteins compared to control: deoxyribonuclease, actin, carbonic anhydrase 2, alpha enolase, adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP1), protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), glucose regulated protein (grp78) and 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), whereas FimA treatment did not result in statistically significant changes to protein levels versus the control. Live P.g. stimulation resulted in 12 differentially expressed proteins: CAP1, tubulin beta-2 chain, ATP synthase beta chain, tubulin alpha-6 chain, PDI, vimentin, 60-kDa heat shock protein and nucleolin were found to be up-regulated, while carbonic anhydrase II, beta-actin and HSP70 were down-regulated relative to control. These differential changes by the bacteria and its components are interpreted as preferential signal pathway activation in host immune/inflammatory responses to P.g. infection.
PMCID: PMC3925766  PMID: 17477557
Lipopolysaccharide; mass spectrometry; monocytes/macrophages; Porphyromonas gingivalis; Toll-like receptors; proteomics
5.  Mass spectrometric detection of multiple extended series of neutral highly fucosylated N-acetyllactosamine oligosaccharides in human milk 
Complex mixtures of high molecular weight fractions of pooled neutral human milk oligosaccharides (obtained via gel permeation chromatography) have been investigated. The subfractions were each permethylated and analyzed by high-resolution mass spectrometry, using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry, in order to investigate their oligosaccharide compositions. The obtained spectra reveal that human milk contains more complex neutral oligosaccharides than have been described previously; the data show that these oligosaccharides can be highly fucosylated, and that their poly-N-acetyllactosamine cores are substituted with up to 10 fucose residues on a an oligosaccharide that has 7-N-acetyllactosamine units. This is the first report of the existence in human milk of this large range of highly fucosylated oligosaccharides which possess novel, potentially immunologically active structures.
PMCID: PMC3607386  PMID: 23538872
carbohydrates; fucosylation; FT-ICR MS; MALDI; mixture analysis; sugars
6.  Electron Transfer Dissociation of Milk Oligosaccharides 
For structural identification of glycans, the classic collision-induced dissociation (CID) spectra are dominated by product ions that derived from glycosidic cleavages, which provide only sequence information. The peaks from cross-ring fragmentation are often absent or have very low abundances in such spectra. Electron transfer dissociation (ETD) is being applied to structural identification of carbohydrates for the first time, and results in some new and detailed information for glycan structural studies. A series of linear milk sugars was analyzed by a variety of fragmentation techniques such as MS/MS by CID and ETD, and MS3 by sequential CID/CID, CID/ETD, and ETD/CID. In CID spectra, the detected peaks were mainly generated via glycosidic cleavages. By comparison, ETD generated various types of abundant cross-ring cleavage ions. These complementary cross-ring cleavages clarified the different linkage types and branching patterns of the representative milk sugar samples. The utilization of different MS3 techniques made it possible to verify initial assignments and to detect the presence of multiple components in isobaric peaks. Fragment ion structures and pathways could be proposed to facilitate the interpretation of carbohydrate ETD spectra and the main mechanisms were investigated. ETD should contribute substantially to confident structural analysis of a wide variety of oligosaccharides.
PMCID: PMC3606914  PMID: 21953041
7.  A novel human autoantigen, endothelial cell growth factor, is a target of T and B cell responses in patients with Lyme disease 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(1):186-196.
Autoantigen presentation by HLA-DR molecules is thought to be a central component of many autoimmune diseases, but uncovering disease-relevant autoantigens has been a difficult challenge. Our goal was to identify autoantigens in patients with antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis, which is thought to result from infection-induced autoimmunity.
Using tandem mass spectrometry, naturally presented HLA-DR self-peptides from a patient’s synovium were identified, synthesized and reacted with his peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Immunoreactive peptides and their source proteins were then tested for T and B cell responses using large numbers of patients’ cells or sera.
Of 120 HLA-DR-presented self-peptides identified from one patient, one peptide derived from endothelial cell growth factor (ECGF) caused his PBMC to proliferate. We then found that T and B cell responses to ECGF occurred systemically in about 10–30% of patients with early or late manifestations of Lyme disease, primarily in those with refractory arthritis-associated HLA-DR alleles, such as DRB1*0101 and 0401. Compared with patients with antibiotic-responsive arthritis, those with antibiotic-refractory arthritis had significantly higher concentrations of ECGF in synovial fluid (P<0.0001) and more often had ECGF antibody reactivity. In non-antibiotic-treated historic patients who developed arthritis, 26% had ECGF reactivity, which often developed before the onset of arthritis and was associated with significantly longer courses of arthritis.
T and B cell responses to ECGF occur in a subset of patients with Lyme disease, particularly in those with antibiotic-refractory arthritis, providing the first direct evidence for autoimmune T and B cell responses in this illness.
PMCID: PMC3535550  PMID: 23044924
8.  Lipid-sorting by ceramide structure from plasma membrane to ER for the cholera toxin receptor ganglioside GM1 
Developmental cell  2012;23(3):573-586.
The glycosphingolipid GM1 binds cholera toxin (CT) on host cells and carries it retrograde from the plasma membrane (PM) through endosomes, the trans-Golgi (TGN), and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to induce toxicity. To elucidate how a membrane lipid can specify trafficking in these pathways, we synthesized GM1 isoforms with alternate ceramide domains and imaged their trafficking in live cells. Only GM1 with unsaturated acyl chains sorted efficiently from PM to TGN and ER. Toxin binding, which effectively crosslinks GM1 lipids, was dispensable, but membrane cholesterol and the lipid raft-associated proteins actin and flotillin were required. The results implicate a protein-dependent mechanism of lipid-sorting by ceramide structure and provide a molecular explanation for the diversity and specificity of retrograde trafficking by CT in host cells.
PMCID: PMC3443397  PMID: 22975326
9.  Evidence for a Structural Role for Acid-Fast Lipids in Oocyst Walls of Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, and Eimeria 
mBio  2013;4(5):e00387-13.
Coccidia are protozoan parasites that cause significant human disease and are of major agricultural importance. Cryptosporidium spp. cause diarrhea in humans and animals, while Toxoplasma causes disseminated infections in fetuses and untreated AIDS patients. Eimeria is a major pathogen of commercial chickens. Oocysts, which are the infectious form of Cryptosporidium and Eimeria and one of two infectious forms of Toxoplasma (the other is tissue cysts in undercooked meat), have a multilayered wall. Recently we showed that the inner layer of the oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria is a porous scaffold of fibers of β-1,3-glucan, which are also present in fungal walls but are absent from Cryptosporidium oocyst walls. Here we present evidence for a structural role for lipids in the oocyst walls of Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, and Eimeria. Briefly, oocyst walls of each organism label with acid-fast stains that bind to lipids in the walls of mycobacteria. Polyketide synthases similar to those that make mycobacterial wall lipids are abundant in oocysts of Toxoplasma and Eimeria and are predicted in Cryptosporidium. The outer layer of oocyst wall of Eimeria and the entire oocyst wall of Cryptosporidium are dissolved by organic solvents. Oocyst wall lipids are complex mixtures of triglycerides, some of which contain polyhydroxy fatty acyl chains like those present in plant cutin or elongated fatty acyl chains like mycolic acids. We propose a two-layered model of the oocyst wall (glucan and acid-fast lipids) that resembles the two-layered walls of mycobacteria (peptidoglycan and acid-fast lipids) and plants (cellulose and cutin).
Oocysts, which are essential for the fecal-oral spread of coccidia, have a wall that is thought responsible for their survival in the environment and for their transit through the stomach and small intestine. While oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria are strengthened by a porous scaffold of fibrils of β-1,3-glucan and by proteins cross-linked by dityrosines, both are absent from walls of Cryptosporidium. We show here that all oocyst walls are acid fast, have a rigid bilayer, dissolve in organic solvents, and contain a complex set of triglycerides rich in polyhydroxy and long fatty acyl chains that might be synthesized by an abundant polyketide synthase. These results suggest the possibility that coccidia build a waxy coat of acid-fast lipids in the oocyst wall that makes them resistant to environmental stress.
PMCID: PMC3760245  PMID: 24003177
10.  Top-Down Analysis of Small Plasma Proteins Using an LTQ-Orbitrap. Potential for Mass Spectrometry-Based Clinical Assays for Transthyretin and Hemoglobin 
Transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis and hemoglobinopathies are the archetypes of molecular diseases where point mutation characterization is diagnostically critical. We have developed a Top-down analytical platform for variant and/or modified protein sequencing and are examining the feasibility of using this platform for the analysis of hemoglobin/TTR patient samples and evaluating the potential clinical applications. The platform is based on a commercial high resolution hybrid orbitrap mass spectrometer (LTQ-Orbitrap™) with automated sample introduction; automated data analysis is performed by our own software algorithm (BUPID topdown).
The analytical strategy consists of iterative data capture, first recording a mass profile of the protein(s). The presence of a variant is revealed by a mass shift consistent with the amino acid substitution. Nozzle-skimmer dissociation (NSD) of the protein(s) yields a wide variety of sequence-defining fragment ions. The fragment ion containing the amino acid substitution or modification can be identified by searching for a peak exhibiting the mass shift observed in the protein mass profile. This fragment ion can then be selected for MS/MS analysis in the ion trap to yield sequence information permitting the identification of the variant. Substantial sequence coverage has been obtained in this manner. This strategy allows for a stepwise MS/MS analysis of the protein structure. The sequence information obtained can be supplemented with whole protein NSD fragmentation and MS/MS analysis of specific protein charge states. The analyses of variant forms of TTR and hemoglobin are presented to illustrate the potential of the method.
PMCID: PMC3098445  PMID: 21607198
Top-down; proteins; variants; transthyretin; hemoglobin; post-translational modifications
11.  Highly efficient and selective enrichment of peptide subsets combining fluorous chemistry with reversed-phase chromatography 
The selective capture of target peptides poses a great challenge to modern chemists and biologists, especially when enriching them from proteome samples possessing extremes in concentration dynamic range and sequence diversity. While approaches based on traditional techniques such as biotin-avidin pairing offer versatile tools to design strategies for selective enrichment, problems are still encountered due to sample loss or poor selectivity of enrichment. Here we show that the recently introduced fluorous chemistry approach has attractive properties as an alternative method for selective enrichment. Through appending a perfluorine group to the target peptide, it is possible to dramatically increase the peptide's hydrophobicity and thus enable facile separation of labeled from non-labeled peptides. Use of reversed-phase chromatography allowed for improved peptide recovery in comparison with results obtained using the formerly reported fluorous bonded phase methods. Furthermore, this approach also allowed for on-line separation and identification of both labeled and unlabeled peptides in a single experiment. The net result is an increase in the confidence of protein identification by tandem mass spectrometry (MS2) as all peptides and subsequent information are retained. Successful off-line and on-line enrichment of cysteine-containing peptides was obtained, and high quality MS2 spectra were obtained by tandem mass spectrometry due to the stability of the tag, allowing for facile identification via standard database searching. We believe that this strategy holds great promise for selective enrichment and identification of low abundance target proteins or peptides.
PMCID: PMC3584324  PMID: 19924777
12.  Identification of Phenylbutyrate-Generated Metabolites in Huntington Disease Patients using Parallel LC/EC-array/MS and Off-line Tandem MS 
Analytical biochemistry  2010;399(2):152-161.
Oral sodium phenyl butyrate (SPB) is currently under investigation as a histone deacetylation (HDAC) inhibitor in Huntington disease (HD). Ongoing studies indicate that symptoms related to HD genetic abnormalities decrease with SPB therapy. In a recently reported safety and tolerability study of SPB in HD, we analyzed overall chromatographic patterns from a method that employs gradient Liquid Chromatography with series Electrochemical array, UV and Fluorescence (LCECA/UV/F) for measuring SPB and its metabolite phenylacetate (PA). We found that plasma and urine from SPB-treated patients yielded individual-specific patterns of ca. 20 metabolites which may provide a means for the selection of subjects for extended trials of SPB. The structural identification of these metabolites is of critical importance, since their characterization will facilitate understanding the mechanisms of drug action and possible side effects. We have now developed an iterative process with LCECA, parallel LCECA/LCMS, and high performance tandem MS, for metabolite characterization. We report here the details of this method and its use for identification of 10 plasma and urinary metabolites in treated subjects, including indole species in urine that are not themselves metabolites of SPB. This approach thus contributes to understanding metabolic pathways that differ among HD individuals being treated with SPB.
PMCID: PMC3568495  PMID: 20074541
Sodium phenyl butyrate; Huntington disease; LCECA; metabolites; parallel LC-EC-array/LC-MS; tandem mass spectrometry
13.  Molecular Characterization of Myelin Protein Zero in Xenopus laevis Peripheral Nerve: Equilibrium between Non-covalently Associated Dimer and Monomer 
Myelin protein zero (P0), a glycosylated single-pass transmembrane protein, is essential in the formation and maintenance of peripheral nervous system (PNS) compact myelin. P0 in Xenopus (xP0) exists primarily as a dimeric form that remains stable after various physical and chemical treatments. In exploring the nature of the interactions underlying the dimer stability, we found that xP0 dimer dissociated into monomer during continuous elution gel electrophoresis and conventional SDS-PAGE, indicating that the dimer is stabilized by non-covalent interactions. Furthermore, as some of the gel-purified monomer re-associated into dimer on SDS-PAGE gels, there is likely a dynamic equilibrium between xP0 dimer and monomer in vivo. Because the carbohydrate and fatty acyl moieties may be crucial for the adhesion role of P0, we used sensitive mass spectrometry approaches to elucidate the detailed N-glycosylation and S-acylation profiles of xP0. Asn92 was determined to be the single, fully-occupied glycosylation site of xP0, and a total of 12 glycans was detected that exhibited new structural features compared with those observed from P0 in other species: (1) the neutral glycans were composed mainly of high mannose and hybrid types; (2) five of twelve were acidic glycans, among which three were sialylated and the other two were sulfated; (3) none of the glycans had core fucosylation; and (4) no glucuronic acid, hence no HNK-1 epitope, was detected. The drastically different carbohydrate structures observed here support the concept of the species-specific variation in N-glycosylation of P0. Cys152 was found to be acylated with stearoyl (C18:0), whereas palmitoyl (C16:0) is the corresponding predominant fatty acyl group on P0 from higher vertebrates. We propose that the unique glycosylation and acylation patterns of Xenopus P0 may underlie its unusual dimerization behaviour. Our results should shed light on the understanding of the phylogenetic development of P0’s adhesion role in PNS compact myelin.
PMCID: PMC2678737  PMID: 19430539
De novo N-linked glycan sequencing; mass spectrometry; species-specific N-glycosylation
14.  Typical Preparation of Francisella tularensis O-antigen Yields a Mixture of Three Types of Saccharides† 
Biochemistry  2011;50(50):10941-10950.
Tularemia is a severe infectious disease in humans caused by the gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft). Due to its low infectious dose, high mortality rate, and the threat of its large-scale dissemination in weaponized form, development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics against Ft is essential. Ft lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which contains the linear graded-length saccharide component O-antigen (OAg) attached to a core oligosaccharide, has been reported as a protective antigen. Purification of LPS saccharides of defined length and composition is necessary to reveal the epitopes targeted by protective antibodies. In this study, we purified saccharides from LPS preparations from both the Ft subspecies holarctica live vaccine strain (LVS) and the virulent Ft subspecies tularensis SchuS4 strain using liquid chromatography. We then characterized the fractions using high resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. Three types of saccharides were observed in both the LVS and SchuS4 preparations: two consisting of OAg tetrasaccharide repeats attached to one of two core-oligosaccharide variants, and one consisting of tetrasaccharide repeats only (coreless). The coreless OAg oligosaccharides were shown to contain Qui4NFm (4,6-dideoxy-4-formamido-D-glucose) at the non-reducing end and QuiNAc (2-acetamido-2,6-dideoxy-O-D-glucose) at the reducing end. Purified homogeneous preparations of saccharides of each type will allow mapping of protective epitopes in Ft LPS.
PMCID: PMC3238095  PMID: 22091710
15.  Structural Features of the Acyl Chain Determine Self-phospholipid Antigen Recognition by a CD1d-restricted Invariant NKT (iNKT) Cell* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2003;278(48):47508-47515.
Little is known about the antigen specificity of CD1d-restricted T cells, except that they frequently recognize CD1d-expressing antigen-presenting cells in the absence of exogenous antigen. We previously demonstrated that the 24.8.A iNKT cell hybridoma was broadly reactive with CD1d-transfected cell lines and recognized the polar lipid fraction of a tumor cell extract. In the present study, the antigen recognized by the 24.8.A iNKT cell hybridoma was purified to homogeneity and identified as palmitoyl-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (16:0–18:1 PE). The 24.8.A iNKT cell hybridoma recognized synthetic 16:0-18:1[cis] PE, confirming that this phospholipid is antigenic. Recognition correlated with the degree of unsaturation of the acyl chains. Using a panel of synthetic PEs, the 24.8.A iNKT cell hybridoma was shown to be activated by PEs that contained at least one unsaturated acyl chain. The configuration of the double bonds was important, as the 24.8.A iNKT cell hybridoma recognized unsaturated acyl chains in the cis, but not the trans, configuration. PEs with multiple double bonds were recognized better than those with a single double bond, and increasing acyl chain unsaturation correlated with increased binding of PE to CD1d. These data illustrate the potential importance of the acyl chain structure for phospholipid antigen binding to CD1d.
PMCID: PMC3465362  PMID: 12963715 CAMSID: cams2348
16.  β-1,3-Glucan, Which Can Be Targeted by Drugs, Forms a Trabecular Scaffold in the Oocyst Walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria 
mBio  2012;3(5):e00258-12.
The walls of infectious pathogens, which are essential for transmission, pathogenesis, and diagnosis, contain sugar polymers that are defining structural features, e.g., β-1,3-glucan and chitin in fungi, chitin in Entamoeba cysts, β-1,3-GalNAc in Giardia cysts, and peptidoglycans in bacteria. The goal here was to determine in which of three walled forms of Toxoplasma gondii (oocyst, sporocyst, or tissue cyst) is β-1,3-glucan, the product of glucan synthases and glucan hydrolases predicted by whole-genome sequences of the parasite. The three most important discoveries were as follows. (i) β-1,3-glucan is present in oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria (a chicken parasite that is a model for intestinal stages of Toxoplasma) but is absent from sporocyst and tissue cyst walls. (ii) Fibrils of β-1,3-glucan are part of a trabecular scaffold in the inner layer of the oocyst wall, which also includes a glucan hydrolase that has a novel glucan-binding domain. (iii) Echinocandins, which target the glucan synthase and kill fungi, arrest development of the Eimeria oocyst wall and prevent release of the parasites into the intestinal lumen. In summary, β-1,3-glucan, which can be targeted by drugs, is an important component of oocyst walls of Toxoplasma but is not a component of sporocyst and tissue cyst walls.
We show here that walls of Toxoplasma oocysts, the infectious stage shed by cats, contain β-1,3-glucan, a sugar polymer that is a major component of fungal walls. In contrast to fungi, β-1,3-glucan is part of a trabecular scaffold in the inner layer of the oocyst wall that is independent of the permeability barrier formed by the outer layer of the wall. While glucan synthase inhibitors kill fungi, these inhibitors arrest the development of the oocyst walls of Eimeria (an important chicken pathogen that is a surrogate for Toxoplasma) and block release of oocysts into the intestinal lumen. The absence of β-1,3-glucan in tissue cysts of Toxoplasma suggests that drugs targeted at the glucan synthase might be used to treat Eimeria in chickens but not to treat Toxoplasma in people.
PMCID: PMC3518913  PMID: 23015739
17.  Improved HILIC LC/MS of Heparinoids using a Chip with Post-column Make-up Flow 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(2):516-522.
Heparan Sulfate (HS) and heparin are linear, heterogeneous carbohydrates of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) family that are modified by N-acetylation, N-sulfation, O-sulfation, and uronic acid epimerization. HS interacts with growth factors in the extracellular matrix, thereby modulating signaling pathways that govern cell growth, development, differentiation, proliferation, and adhesion. HPLC-chip-based hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry has emerged as a method for analyzing the domain structure of GAGs. However, analysis of highly sulfated GAG structures decasaccharide or larger in size has been limited by spray instability in the negative-ion mode. This report demonstrates that addition of post-column make-up flow to the amide-HPLC-chip configuration permits robust and reproducible analysis of extended GAG domains (up to degree of polymerization 18) from HS and heparin. This platform provides quantitative information regarding oligosaccharide profile, degree of sulfation, and non-reducing chain termini. It is expected that this technology will enable quantitative, comparative glycomics profiling of extended GAG oligosaccharide domains of functional interest.
PMCID: PMC3247906  PMID: 20000724
18.  Redox Regulation of Sirtuin-1 by S-Glutathiolation 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2010;13(7):1023-1032.
Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is an NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase that is sensitive to oxidative signals. Our purpose was to determine whether SIRT1 activity is sensitive to the low molecular weight nitrosothiol, S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), which can transduce oxidative signals into physiological responses. SIRT1 formed mixed disulfides with GSNO-Sepharose, and mass spectrometry identified several cysteines that are modified by GSNO, including Cys-67 which was S-glutathiolated. GSNO had no effect on basal SIRT1deacetylase activity, but inhibited stimulation of activity by resveratrol (RSV) with an IC50 of 69 μM. These observations indicate that S-glutathiolation of SIRT1 by low concentrations of reactive glutathione can modulate its enzymatic activity.
Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 1023–1032.
PMCID: PMC2959181  PMID: 20392170
19.  The Antiretroviral Lectin Cyanovirin-N Targets Well-Known and Novel Targets on the Surface of Entamoeba histolytica Trophozoites ▿ † 
Eukaryotic Cell  2010;9(11):1661-1668.
Entamoeba histolytica, the protist that causes amebic dysentery and liver abscess, has a truncated Asn-linked glycan (N-glycan) precursor composed of seven sugars (Man5GlcNAc2). Here, we show that glycoproteins with unmodified N-glycans are aggregated and capped on the surface of E. histolytica trophozoites by the antiretroviral lectin cyanovirin-N and then replenished from large intracellular pools. Cyanovirin-N cocaps the Gal/GalNAc adherence lectin, as well as glycoproteins containing O-phosphodiester-linked glycans recognized by an anti-proteophosphoglycan monoclonal antibody. Cyanovirin-N inhibits phagocytosis by E. histolytica trophozoites of mucin-coated beads, a surrogate assay for amebic virulence. For technical reasons, we used the plant lectin concanavalin A rather than cyanovirin-N to enrich secreted and membrane proteins for mass spectrometric identification. E. histolytica glycoproteins with occupied N-glycan sites include Gal/GalNAc lectins, proteases, and 17 previously hypothetical proteins. The latter glycoproteins, as well as 50 previously hypothetical proteins enriched by concanavalin A, may be vaccine targets as they are abundant and unique. In summary, the antiretroviral lectin cyanovirin-N binds to well-known and novel targets on the surface of E. histolytica that are rapidly replenished from large intracellular pools.
PMCID: PMC2976296  PMID: 20852023
20.  Charge remote fragmentation in electron capture and electron transfer dissociations 
Secondary fragmentations of three synthetic peptides (human αA crystallin peptide 1-11, the deamidated form of human βB2 crystallin peptide 4-14, and amyloid β peptide 25-35) were studied in both electron capture dissociation (ECD) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD) mode. In ECD, in addition to c and z• ion formations, charge remote fragmentations (CRF) of z• ions were abundant, resulting in internal fragment formation or partial/entire side chain losses from amino acids, sometimes several residues away from the backbone cleavage site, and to some extent multiple side chain losses. The internal fragments were observed in peptides with basic residues located in the middle of the sequences, which was different from most tryptic peptides with basic residues located at the C-terminus. These secondary cleavages were initiated by hydrogen abstraction at the α-, β-, or γ-position of the amino acid side chain. In comparison, ETD generates fewer CRF fragments than ECD. This secondary cleavage study will facilitate ECD/ETD spectra interpretation, and help de novo sequencing and database searching.
PMCID: PMC2882803  PMID: 20171118
21.  Software Tool for Researching Annotations of Proteins (STRAP): Open-Source Protein Annotation Software with Data Visualization 
Analytical chemistry  2009;81(23):9819-9823.
In order that biological meaning may be derived and testable hypotheses may be built from proteomics experiments, assignments of proteins identified by mass spectrometry or other techniques must be supplemented with additional notation, such as information on known protein functions, protein-protein interactions, or biological pathway associations. Collecting, organizing, and interpreting this data often requires the input of experts in the biological field of study, in addition to the time-consuming search for and compilation of information from online protein databases. Furthermore, visualizing this bulk of information can be challenging due to the limited availability of easy-to-use and freely available tools for this process. In response to these constraints, we have undertaken the design of software to automate annotation and visualization of proteomics data in order to accelerate the pace of research. Here we present the Software Tool for Researching Annotations of Proteins (STRAP) – a user-friendly, open-source C# application. STRAP automatically obtains gene ontology (GO) terms associated with proteins in a proteomics results ID list using the freely accessible UniProtKB and EBI GOA databases. Summarized in an easy-to-navigate tabular format, STRAP includes meta-information on the protein in addition to complimentary GO terminology. Additionally, this information can be edited by the user so that in-house expertise on particular proteins may be integrated into the larger dataset. STRAP provides a sortable tabular view for all terms, as well as graphical representations of GO-term association data in pie (biological process, cellular component and molecular function) and bar charts (cross comparison of sample sets) to aid in the interpretation of large datasets and differential analyses experiments. Furthermore, proteins of interest may be exported as a unique FASTA-formatted file to allow for customizable re-searching of mass spectrometry data, and gene names corresponding to the proteins in the lists may be encoded in the Gaggle microformat for further characterization, including pathway analysis. STRAP, a tutorial, and the C# source code are freely available from
PMCID: PMC2787672  PMID: 19839595
proteomics; annotation; software; mass spectrometry; data analysis
22.  AND-34/BCAR3 Regulates Adhesion-Dependent p130Cas Serine Phosphorylation and Breast Cancer Cell Growth Pattern 
Cellular signalling  2009;21(9):1423-1435.
NSP protein family members associate with p130Cas, a focal adhesion adapter protein best known as a Src substrate that integrates adhesion-related signaling. Over-expression of AND-34/BCAR3/NSP2 (BCAR3), but not NSP1 or NSP3, induces anti-estrogen resistance in human breast cancer cell lines. BCAR3 over-expression in epithelial MCF-7 cells augments levels of a phosphorylated p130Cas species that migrates more slowly on SDS PAGE while NSP-1 and NSP3 induce modest or no phosphorylation, respectively. Conversely, reduction in BCAR3 expression in mesenchymal MDA-231 cells by inducible shRNA results in loss of such p130Cas phosphorylation. Replacement of NSP3's serine/proline-rich domain with that of AND-34/BCAR3 instills the ability to induce p130Cas phosphorylation. Phospho-amino acid analysis demonstrates that BCAR3 induces p130Cas serine phosphorylation. Mass spectrometry identified phosphorylation at p130Cas serines 139, 437 and 639. p130Cas serine phosphorylation accumulates for several hours after adhesion of MDA-231 cells to fibronectin and is dependent upon BCAR3 expression. BCAR3 knockdown alters p130Cas localization and converts MDA-231 growth to an epithelioid pattern characterized by striking cohesiveness and lack of cellular projections at colony borders. These studies demonstrate that BCAR3 regulates p130Cas serine phosphorylation that is adhesion-dependent, temporally distinct from previously well-characterized rapid Fak and Src kinase-mediated p130Cas tyrosine phosphorylation and that correlates with invasive phenotype.
PMCID: PMC2740797  PMID: 19454314
BCAR3; p130Cas; breast cancer; adhesion; phosphorylation; anti-estrogen resistance
23.  Giardia Cyst Wall Protein 1 Is a Lectin That Binds to Curled Fibrils of the GalNAc Homopolymer 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(8):e1001059.
The infectious and diagnostic stage of Giardia lamblia (also known as G. intestinalis or G. duodenalis) is the cyst. The Giardia cyst wall contains fibrils of a unique β-1,3-linked N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) homopolymer and at least three cyst wall proteins (CWPs) composed of Leu-rich repeats (CWPLRR) and a C-terminal conserved Cys-rich region (CWPCRR). Our goals were to dissect the structure of the cyst wall and determine how it is disrupted during excystation. The intact Giardia cyst wall is thin (∼400 nm), easily fractured by sonication, and impermeable to small molecules. Curled fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer are restricted to a narrow plane and are coated with linear arrays of oval-shaped protein complex. In contrast, cyst walls of Giardia treated with hot alkali to deproteinate fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer are thick (∼1.2 µm), resistant to sonication, and permeable. The deproteinated GalNAc homopolymer, which forms a loose lattice of curled fibrils, is bound by native CWP1 and CWP2, as well as by maltose-binding protein (MBP)-fusions containing the full-length CWP1 or CWP1LRR. In contrast, neither MBP alone nor MBP fused to CWP1CRR bind to the GalNAc homopolymer. Recombinant CWP1 binds to the GalNAc homopolymer within secretory vesicles of Giardia encysting in vitro. Fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer are exposed during excystation or by treatment of heat-killed cysts with chymotrypsin, while deproteinated fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer are degraded by extracts of Giardia cysts but not trophozoites. These results show the Leu-rich repeat domain of CWP1 is a lectin that binds to curled fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer. During excystation, host and Giardia proteases appear to degrade bound CWPs, exposing fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer that are digested by a stage-specific glycohydrolase.
Author Summary
While the walls of plants and fungi contain numerous sugar homopolymers (cellulose, chitin, and β-1,3-glucans) and dozens of proteins, the cyst wall of Giardia is relatively simple. The Giardia wall contains a unique homopolymer of β-1,3-linked N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and at least three cyst wall proteins (CWPs), each of which is composed of Leu-rich repeats and a C-terminal Cys-rich region. The three major discoveries here are: 1) Fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer are curled and form a lattice that is compressed into a narrow plane by bound protein in intact cyst walls. 2) Leu-rich repeats of CWP1 form a novel lectin domain that is specific for fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer, which can be isolated by methods used to deproteinate fungal walls. 3) A cyst-specific glycohydrolase is able to degrade deproteinated fibrils of the GalNAc homopolymer. We incorporate these findings into a new curled fiber and lectin model of the intact Giardia cyst wall and a protease and glycohydrolase model of excystation.
PMCID: PMC2924369  PMID: 20808847
24.  Heterogeneity in Primary Structure, Post-Translational Modifications, and Germline Gene Usage of Nine Full-Length Amyloidogenic κ1 Immunoglobulin Light Chains† 
Biochemistry  2007;46(49):14259-14271.
Immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis is a protein misfolding disease in which a monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain (LC) with a critically folded β-conformation self-aggregates to form highly ordered, nonbranching amyloid fibrils. The insoluble nature of amyloid fibrils ultimately results in the extracellular deposition of the LC in tissues and organs throughout the body. Structural features that confer amyloidogenic properties on an Ig LC likely include amino acid sequence variations and post-translational modifications, but the specific natures of these changes remain to be defined. As part of an exploration of the effective range of amyloidogenic modifications, this study details the structural and genetic analyses of nine κ1 LC proteins. Urinary LCs were purified by size exclusion chromatography using FPLC, and structural analyses were performed by electrospray ionization, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, and tandem mass spectrometry. RT-PCR amplification, cloning, and sequencing of the monoclonal LC genes were accomplished using bone marrow-derived mRNA. Clinical data were reviewed retrospectively. Characterization of the urinary κ1 LCs revealed extensive post-translational modification in all proteins, in addition to somatic mutations expected on the basis of results from genetic analyses. Post-translational modifications included disulfide-linked dimerization, S-cysteinylation, glycosylation, fragmentation, S-sulfonation, and 3-chlorotyrosine formation. Genetic analyses showed that several LC variable region germline gene donors were represented including O18/O8, O12/O2, L15, and L5. Clinical features included soft tissue, cardiac, renal, and hepatic involvement. This study demonstrated the extensive heterogeneity in primary structure, post-translational modifications, and germline gene usage that occurred in nine amyloidogenic κ1 LC proteins.
PMCID: PMC2912213  PMID: 18004879
25.  Strong IgG Antibody Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi Glycolipids in Patients with Lyme Arthritis, a Late Manifestation of the Infection 
In this study, the membrane lipids of B. burgdorferi were separated into 16 fractions; the components in each fraction were identified, and the immunogenicity of each fraction was determined by ELISA using sera from Lyme disease patients. Only the 2 glycolipids, acylated cholesteryl galactoside (ACG, BbGL-I) and monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MgalD, BbGL-II), were immunogenic. Early in the infection, 24 of 84 patients (29%) who were convalescent from erythema migrans and 19 of the 35 patients (54%) with neuroborreliosis had weak IgG responses to purified MgalD, and a smaller percentage of patients had early responses to synthetic ACG. However, almost all of 75 patients with Lyme arthritis, a late disease manifestation, had strong IgG reactivity with both glycolipids. Thus, almost all patients with Lyme arthritis have strong IgG antibody responses to B. burgdorferi glycolipid antigens.
PMCID: PMC2752957  PMID: 19342303
Lyme disease; Bacterial infection; Borrelia burgdorferi; Antibodies; Glycolipid antigens

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