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Optimization of O-GIG for O‑Glycopeptide Characterization with Sialic Acid Linkage Determination

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posted on 28.07.2020, 18:42 by Shuang Yang, Wells W. Wu, Rongfong Shen, Jonathan Sjogren, Lisa Parsons, John F. Cipollo
O-Glycoprotein analysis has been historically challenging due, in part, to a dearth of available enzymes active in the release of O-glycans. Moreover, chemical releasing methods, such as β-elimination/Michael addition, are not specific to O-glycan release and can also eliminate phosphoryl substitutions. Both of these events leave behind deaminated serine and threonine and thus can lead to ambiguous structural conclusions. Recently, the O-protease OpeRATOR, derived from intestinal bacteria and expressed in Escherichia coli, has become commercially available. The digestion of O-glycoprotein yields O-glycopeptides cleaved at the N-terminal end of serine and threonine, with O-glycan remaining intact. The enzyme has a broad substrate specificity and includes mammalian cores 1–8. However, OpeRATOR is not fully active toward sialylated glycoproteins, and it has been suggested that this acidic residue be removed prior to digestion, thus sacrificing structural information. In this study, we investigated the performance of OpeRATOR under a range of conditions, including buffer selection, varying pH, sialic acid modification, and digestion temperature, in order to optimize the enzymatic activity, with a special emphasis on sialylated glycosites. Conditions derived in this work facilitate the OpeRATOR digestion of fully sialylated O-glycopeptides that are mass tagged to identify the sialyl linkage, thus facilitating the analysis of these charged O-glycopeptides, which are often important in biological processes.