Extensive heterogeneity of glycopeptides in plasma revealed by deep glycoproteomic analysis using size-exclusion chromatography

Mayank Saraswat, Kishore Garapati, Dong Gi Mun, Akhilesh Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several plasma glycoproteins are clinically useful as biomarkers in a variety of diseases. Although thousands of proteins are present in plasma, >95% of the plasma proteome by mass is represented by only 22 proteins. This necessitates strategies to deplete the abundant proteins and enrich other subsets of proteins. Although glycoproteins are abundant in plasma, in routine proteomic analyses, glycopeptides are not often investigated. Traditional methods such as lectin-based enrichment of glycopeptides followed by deglycosylation have helped understand the glycoproteome, but they lack any information about the attached glycans. Here, we apply size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) as a simple strategy to enrich intact N-glycopeptides based on their larger size which achieves broad selectivity regardless of the nature of attached glycans. Using this approach, we identified 1317 N-glycopeptides derived from 266 glycosylation sites on 154 plasma glycoproteins. The deep coverage achieved by this approach was evidenced by extensive heterogeneity that was observed. For instance, 20-100 glycopeptides were observed per protein for the 15 most-glycosylated glycoproteins. Notably, we discovered 615 novel glycopeptides of which 39 glycosylation sites (from 38 glycoproteins) were not included in protein databases such as Uniprot and GlyConnectDB. Finally, we also identified 12 novel glycopeptides containing di-sialic acid, which is a rare glycan epitope. Our results demonstrate the utility of SEC for efficient LC-MS/MS-based deep glycoproteomics analysis of human plasma. Overall, the SEC-based method described here is a simple, rapid and high-throughput strategy for characterization of any glycoproteome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Omics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Extensive heterogeneity of glycopeptides in plasma revealed by deep glycoproteomic analysis using size-exclusion chromatography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this