Early Detection Research Network

Comparative proteomic analysis of de-N-glycosylated serum from hepatitis B carriers reveals polypeptides that correlate with disease status.

Analysis of the polypeptide profile in tissues, cells, and sera by high-resolution two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis offers promise in the identification of biomarkers that correlate with disease. However, sera contain many polypeptides bearing N-linked glycosylation that can complicate interpretation. Therefore, we tested the possibility that de-N-glycosylation of the polypeptides present in human serum would result in a simplification of serum proteome profiles. Briefly, polypeptides present in human serum were left untreated or subjected to de-N-glycosylation by incubation with PNGase F and resolved by high-resolution 2-D gel electrophoresis. De-N-glycosylation reduced the number of glycoform variants, enhanced the resolution of many polypeptides and allowed other polypeptides to become visible. As an initial test of concept, clinically relevant serum samples from individuals with or without diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma were compared. Several polypeptides, apparent only after de-N-glycosylation, were shown to correlate with disease. Although the results are preliminary and the identities of all the putative biomarkers not yet known, the data suggest that de-N-glycosylation offers a method to enhance the resolution of serum polypeptide profiles and has value in comparative proteomic studies.

Block TM, Comunale MA, Drake R, Evans AA, London WT, Lowman MA, Mattu TS, Mehta A, Romano PR, Semmes OJ, Steel LF, Ward M

14997503

Proteomics, 2004, 4 (3)