Structural studies of asparagine-linked glycoproteins are complicated by the oligosaccharide heterogeneity inherent to individual glycosylation sites. Herein, we report the cloning of a novel isoform of avian Thy-1 and the subsequent expression, purification, and characterization of a soluble form of Thy-1 from Lec1 mammalian and Tn5 insect cells. The novel isoform of Thy-1 differs from the previously reported chicken isoform by eight amino acid residues, but these changes do not alter the secondary structure content, the disulfide bond pattern, or the sites of glycosylation. The disulfide linkage pattern and glycoform distribution on each N-glysosylation site of recombinant chicken Thy-1 from both cell lines were determined by a combination of amino-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. The mass spectral data showed that the amino-terminal glutamine was modified to pyroglutamate. Recombinant Thy-1 from Lec1 cells contained (GlcNAc)2(Man)5 on asparagine 60, whereas the oligosaccharides on asparagine 23 and 100 contained ∼80% (GlcNAc)2(Man)4 and ∼20% (GlcNAc) 2(Man)5. The glycoforms on Thy-1 expressed in Tn5 cells were more heterogeneous, with the oligosaccharides ranging over (GlcNAc) 2(Fuc)0-2(Man)2-3 on each site. The ability to generate recombinant glycoproteins with restricted carbohydrate heterogeneity is the first step toward the systematic study of structure-function relationships in intact glycoproteins.
- Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance
- Glycoform homogeneity
- Mass spectrometry
- Recombinant glycoprotein
ASJC Scopus subject areas