One-step preparation of boronic acid-rich hydrothermal spheres for N-glycopeptide analysis from preeclampsia serum†
In this study, we developed a green, one-step hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) method that used water as the sole solvent to create boronic acid group-rich carbonaceous spheres (BCS). When the abundant boronic acid groups on the carbonaceous spheres react with the hydroxyl groups on the glycans in an alkaline environment, the glycopeptides are specifically captured. The results showed that BCS had excellent detection limits (0.1 fmol μL−1), selectivity (1 : 1000), and stability (10 cycles). In addition, the BCS also demonstrated excellent glycopeptide enrichment capabilities in complex biological samples; 219 glycopeptides attributed to 167 glycoproteins and 235 glycopeptides related to 166 glycoproteins in PE patient and normal pregnancy control serum were identified by nano LC-MS/MS, respectively. In addition, the molecular function of heparin binding and biological process of complement activation, positive regulation of immune response, and positive regulation of tumor necrosis factor production were significantly different between PE patients and healthy pregnant women according to gene ontology analysis, indicating that these may be associated with the development of PE.