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Region-Specific Cell Membrane N-Glycome of Functional Mouse Brain Areas Revealed by nanoLC-MS Analysis.

  • Author(s): Barboza, Mariana;
  • Solakyildirim, Kemal;
  • Knotts, Trina A;
  • Luke, Jonathan;
  • Gareau, Melanie G;
  • Raybould, Helen E;
  • Lebrilla, Carlito B
  • et al.

N-glycosylation is a ubiquitous posttranslational modification that affects protein structure and function, including those of the central nervous system. N-glycans attached to cell membrane proteins play crucial roles in all aspects of biology, including embryogenesis, development, cell-cell recognition and adhesion, and cell signaling and communication. Although brain function and behavior are known to be regulated by the N-glycosylation state of numerous cell surface glycoproteins, our current understanding of brain glycosylation is limited, and glycan variations associated with functional brain regions remain largely unknown. In this work, we used a well-established cell surface glycomic nanoLC-Chip-Q-TOF platform developed in our laboratory to characterize the N-glycome of membrane fractions enriched in cell surface glycoproteins obtained from specific functional brain areas. We report the cell membrane N-glycome of two major developmental divisions of mice brain with specific and distinctive functions, namely the forebrain and hindbrain. Region-specific glycan maps were obtained with ∼120 N-glycan compositions in each region, revealing significant differences in "brain-type" glycans involving high mannose, bisecting, and core and antenna fucosylated species. Additionally, the cell membrane N-glycome of three functional regions of the forebrain and hindbrain, the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, was characterized. In total, 125 N-glycan compositions were identified, and their region-specific expression profiles were characterized. Over 70 N-glycans contributed to the differentiation of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum N-glycome, including bisecting and branched glycans with varying degrees of core and antenna fucosylation and sialylation. This study presents a comprehensive spatial distribution of the cell-membrane enriched N-glycomes associated with five discrete anatomical and functional brain areas, providing evidence for the presence of a previously unknown brain glyco-architecture. The region-specific molecular glyco fingerprints identified here will enable a better understanding of the critical biological roles that N-glycans play in the specialized functional brain areas in health and disease.

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