LC-MS/MS Isomeric Profiling of N-Glycans Derived from Low-Abundant Serum Glycoproteins in Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an early stage of memory loss that affects cognitive abilities, such as language or virtual/spatial comprehension. This cognitive decline is mostly observed with the aging of individuals. Recently, MCI has been considered as a prodromal phase of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with a 10–15% conversion rate. However, the existing diagnostic methods fail to provide precise and well-timed diagnoses, and the pathophysiology of MCI is not fully understood. Alterations of serum N-glycan expression could represent essential contributors to the overall pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and be used as a potential marker to assess MCI diagnosis using non-invasive procedures. Herein, we undertook an LC-MS/MS glycomics approach to determine and characterize potential N-glycan markers in depleted blood serum samples from MCI patients. For the first time, we profiled the isomeric glycome of the low abundant serum glycoproteins extracted from serum samples of control and MCI patients using an LC-MS/MS analytical strategy. Additionally, the MRM validation of the identified data showed five isomeric N-glycans with the ability to discriminate between healthy and MCI patients: the sialylated N-glycans GlcNAc5,Hex6,Neu5Ac3 and GlcNAc6,Hex7,Neu5Ac4 with single AUCs of 0.92 and 0.87, respectively, and a combined AUC of 0.96; and the sialylated-fucosylated N-glycans GlcNAc4,Hex5,Fuc, Neu5Ac, GlcNAc5,Hex6,Fuc, Neu5Ac2, and GlcNAc6,Hex7,Fuc, Neu5Ac3 with single AUCs of 0.94, 0.67, and 0.88, respectively, and a combined AUC of 0.98. According to the ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) and in line with recent publications, the identified N-glycans may play an important role in neuroinflammation. It is a process that plays a fundamental role in neuroinflammation, an important process in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.


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MCI, neurological disorder, isomeric N-glycans, biomarker glycan


Reyes CDG, Hakim MA, Atashi M, Goli M, Gautam S, Wang J, Bennett AI, Zhu J, Lubman DM, Mechref Y. LC-MS/MS Isomeric Profiling of N-Glycans Derived from Low-Abundant Serum Glycoproteins in Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients. Biomolecules. 2022; 12(11):1657.