Direct N-Glycosylation Profiling of Urine and Prostatic Fluid Glycoproteins and Extracellular Vesicles

Calvin R.K. Blaschke, Jordan P. Hartig, Grace Grimsley, Liping Liu, O. John Semmes, Jennifer D. Wu, Joseph E. Ippolito, Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Julius O. Nyalwidhe, Richard R. Drake*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Expressed prostatic secretions (EPS), also called post digital rectal exam urines, are proximal fluids of the prostate that are widely used for diagnostic and prognostic assays for prostate cancer. These fluids contain an abundant number of glycoproteins and extracellular vesicles secreted by the prostate gland, and the ability to detect changes in their N-glycans composition as a reflection of disease state represents potential new biomarker candidates. Methods to characterize these N-glycan constituents directly from clinical samples in a timely manner and with minimal sample processing requirements are not currently available. In this report, an approach is described to directly profile the N-glycan constituents of EPS urine samples, prostatic fluids and urine using imaging mass spectrometry for detection. An amine reactive slide is used to immobilize glycoproteins from a few microliters of spotted samples, followed by peptide N-glycosidase digestion. Over 100 N-glycan compositions can be detected with this method, and it works with urine, urine EPS, prostatic fluids, and urine EPS-derived extracellular vesicles. A comparison of the N-glycans detected from the fluids with tissue N-glycans from prostate cancer tissues was done, indicating a subset of N-glycans present in fluids derived from the gland lumens. The developed N-glycan profiling is amenable to analysis of larger clinical cohorts and adaptable to other biofluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number734280
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
StatePublished - Sep 27 2021


  • N-glycan
  • glycosylation
  • prostate
  • urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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