Glycan node analysis of plasma-derived extracellular vesicles

Sierra A. Walker, Jesús S.Aguilar Díaz De león, Sara Busatto, Gregory A. Wurtz, Abba C. Zubair, Chad R. Borges, Joy Wolfram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Blood plasma is a readily accessible source of extracellular vesicles (EVs), i.e., cell-secreted nanosized carriers that contain various biomolecules, including glycans. Previous studies have demonstrated that glycans play a major role in physiological and pathological processes, and certain plasma glycans have been associated with disease conditions. However, glycome studies have been limited by a lack of analytical techniques with the throughput capacity necessary to study hundreds of clinical samples. This study is the first to characterize the EV plasma glycome based on all major glycan classes. The results based on glycan node analysis revealed, as expected, that plasma-derived EVs have distinct glycan features from donor-matched whole plasma. Specifically, glycan nodes corresponding to those observed in chondroitin sulfate, dermatan sulfate, type I keratan sulfate, and type II keratan sulfate were enriched on EVs. The identification of specific differences in glycan features in plasma vs. plasma-derived EVs is relevant for understanding the physiological role of EVs and as a reference for future diagnostic studies. Additionally, the results indicate that EV glycan nodes do not substantially differ among a small set of healthy donors. These results lay the framework for the further evaluation of all EV glycan classes as diagnostic markers, therapeutic targets, and biologically active components in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1946
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Carbohydrates
  • Exosomes
  • Glycan node analysis
  • Microvesicle
  • Size exclusion chromatography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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