American Chemical Society
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Detection of Protein Glycosylation Using Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-25, 00:00 authored by David P. Cowcher, Tanja Deckert-Gaudig, Victoria L. Brewster, Lorna Ashton, Volker Deckert, Royston Goodacre
The correct glycosylation of biopharmaceutical glycoproteins and their formulations is essential for them to have the desired therapeutic effect on the patient. It has recently been shown that Raman spectroscopy can be used to quantify the proportion of glycosylated protein from mixtures of native and glycosylated forms of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase). Here we show the first steps toward not only the detection of glycosylation status but the characterization of glycans themselves from just a few protein molecules at a time using tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). While this technique generates complex data that are very dependent on the protein orientation, with the careful development of combined data preprocessing, univariate and multivariate analysis techniques, we have shown that we can distinguish between the native and glycosylated forms of RNase. Many glycoproteins contain populations of subtly different glycoforms; therefore, with stricter orientation control, we believe this has the potential to lead to further glycan characterization using TERS, which would have use in biopharmaceutical synthesis and formulation research.