Systematic and site-specific analysis of N-sialoglycosylated proteins on the cell surface by integrating click chemistry and MS-based proteomics†
Glycoproteins on the cell surface are ubiquitous and essential for cells to interact with the extracellular matrix, communicate with other cells, and respond to environmental cues. Although surface sialoglycoproteins can dramatically impact cell properties and represent different cellular statuses, global and site-specific analysis of sialoglycoproteins only on the cell surface is extraordinarily challenging. An effective method integrating metabolic labeling, copper-free click chemistry and mass spectrometry-based proteomics was developed to globally and site-specifically analyze surface N-sialoglycoproteins. Surface sialoglycoproteins metabolically labeled with a functional group were specifically tagged through copper-free click chemistry, which is ideal because it is quick, specific and occurs under physiological conditions. Sequentially tagged sialoglycoproteins were enriched for site-specific identification by mass spectrometry. Systematic and quantitative analysis of the surface N-sialoglycoproteome in cancer cells with distinctive invasiveness demonstrated many N-sialoglycoproteins up-regulated in invasive cells, the majority of which contained cell adhesion-related domains. This method is very effective to globally and site-specifically analyze N-sialoglycoproteins on the cell surface, and will have extensive applications in the biological and biomedical research communities. Site-specific information regarding surface sialoglycoproteins can serve as biomarkers for disease detection, targets for vaccine development and drug treatment.