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Qualitative and quantitative characterization of sialylated N-glycans using three fluorophores, two columns, and two instrumentations
- Kim, Wooseok, Kim, Jihye, You, Seungkwan, Do, Jonghye, Jang, Yeonjoo, Kim, Donghwi, Lee, Junmyoung, Ha, Jongkwan, Kim, Ha Hyung
- Analytical biochemistry 2019
- fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, glycoproteins, half life, humans, hydrophilic interaction chromatography, immunogenicity, ionization, polysaccharides, tandem mass spectrometry
- Sialylation can influence the stability, half-life, and immunogenicity of glycoproteins, but sialylated N-glycans are known to be difficult to analyze. Human alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) is reported to have glycans that consist of sialylated N-glycans. The N-glycan profiling of AGP is qualitatively and quantitatively investigated here by UPLC and LC-ESI-MS/MS. Three fluorescent tags (AB, AA, and ProA) and two separation columns (HILIC and AEX-HILIC) were adopted to confirm and compare each analytical characteristic. The results of AA were comparable to those of the well-established AB. The qualification of ProA was notable due to its superior fluorescence intensity and ionization efficiency, and ProA showed smaller quantitative or larger-sized fragments in LC-ESI-MS/MS compared to AB and AA. However, the MS quantification of ProA was distorted because the increased sialylation level decreased the LC-ESI-MS/MS ionization efficiency. HILIC had better peak separability, AEX-HILIC had an advantage in UPLC sialylation profiling, and each isomeric glycan could be identified by both columns in LC-ESI-MS/MS. In conclusion, ProA is favored for UPLC and LC-ESI-MS/MS detection but not reliable for MS quantification. This study firstly demonstrates the qualification and quantification of sialylated N-glycans by comparing the commonly used analytical conditions with different fluorescent tags, columns, and instruments.