In-Depth Glycoproteomic Characterization of γ-Conglutin by High-Resolution Accurate Mass Spectrometry

Silvia Schiarea, Lolita Arnoldi, Roberto Fanelli, Eric De Combarieu, Chiara Chiabrando

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The molecular characterization of bioactive food components is necessary for understanding the mechanisms of their beneficial or detrimental effects on human health. This study focused on γ-conglutin, a well-known lupin seed N-glycoprotein with health-promoting properties and controversial allergenic potential. Given the importance of N-glycosylation for the functional and structural characteristics of proteins, we studied the purified protein by a mass spectrometry-based glycoproteomic approach able to identify the structure, micro-heterogeneity and attachment site of the bound N-glycan(s), and to provide extensive coverage of the protein sequence. The peptide/N-glycopeptide mixtures generated by enzymatic digestion (with or without N-deglycosylation) were analyzed by high-resolution accurate mass liquid chromatography-multi-stage mass spectrometry. The four main micro-heterogeneous variants of the single N-glycan bound to γ-conglutin were identified as Man2(Xyl) (Fuc) GlcNAc2, Man3(Xyl) (Fuc) GlcNAc2, GlcNAcMan3(Xyl) (Fuc) GlcNAc2 and GlcNAc 2Man3(Xyl) (Fuc) GlcNAc2. These carry both core β1,2-xylose and core α1-3-fucose (well known Cross-Reactive Carbohydrate Determinants), but corresponding fucose-free variants were also identified as minor components. The N-glycan was proven to reside on Asn131, one of the two potential N-glycosylation sites. The extensive coverage of the γ-conglutin amino acid sequence suggested three alternative N-termini of the small subunit, that were later confirmed by direct-infusion Orbitrap mass spectrometry analysis of the intact subunit.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73906
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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