Biochemistry


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0 Q&A 389 Views Sep 20, 2023

Matriglycan is a linear polysaccharide of alternating xylose and glucuronic acid units [-Xyl-α1,3-GlcA-β1,3]n that is uniquely synthesized on α-dystroglycan (α-DG) and is essential for neuromuscular function and brain development. It binds several extracellular matrix proteins that contain laminin-globular domains and is a receptor for Old World arenaviruses such as Lassa Fever virus. Monoclonal antibodies such as IIH6 are commonly used to detect matriglycan on α-DG. However, endogenous expression levels are not sufficient to detect and analyze matriglycan by mass spectrometry approaches. Thus, there is a growing need to independently confirm the presence of matriglycan on α-DG and possibly other proteins. We used an enzymatic approach to detect matriglycan, which involved digesting it with two thermophilic exoglycosidases: β-Glucuronidase from Thermotoga maritima and α-xylosidase from Sulfolobus solfataricus. This allowed us to identify and categorize matriglycan on α-DG by studying post-digestion changes in the molecular weight of α-DG using SDS-PAGE followed by western blotting with anti-matriglycan antibodies, anti-core α-DG antibodies, and/or laminin binding assay. In some tissues, matriglycan is capped by a sulfate group, which renders it resistant to digestion by these dual exoglycosidases. Thus, this method can be used to determine the capping status of matriglycan. To date, matriglycan has only been identified on vertebrate α-DG. We anticipate that this method will facilitate the discovery of matriglycan on α-DG in other species and possibly on other proteins.


Key features

• Analysis of endogenous matriglycan on dystroglycan from any animal tissue.

• Matriglycan is digested using thermophilic enzymes, which require optimum thermophilic conditions.

• Western blotting is used to assay the success and extent of digestion.

• Freshly purified enzymes work best to digest matriglycan.


Graphical overview




α-Dystroglycan (α-DG) from muscle is shown here modified by a phosphorylated core M3 glycan, which extends further and terminates in a repeating disaccharide of xylose (Xyl) and glucuronic acid (GlcA) called matriglycan. β-glucuronidase (Bgus) and α-xylosidase (Xyls) hydrolyze the β-1,3-linked GlcA and α-1,3 linked-Xyl, starting from the terminal residues.

0 Q&A 406 Views Aug 20, 2023

Pectin is a complex polysaccharide present in the plant cell wall, whose composition is constantly remodelled to adapt to environmental or developmental changes. Mutants with altered pectin composition have been reported to exhibit altered stress or pathogen resistance. Understanding the link between mutant phenotypes and their pectin composition requires robust analytical methods to detect changes in the relative monosaccharide composition. Here, we describe a quick and efficient gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS)-based method that allows the differential analysis of pectin monosaccharide composition in plants under different conditions or between mutant plants and their respective wild types. Pectin is extracted from seed mucilage or from the alcohol-insoluble residue prepared from leaves or other organs and is subsequently hydrolysed with trifluoracetic acid. The resulting acidic and neutral monosaccharides are then derivatised and measured simultaneously by GC–MS.


Key features

• Comparative analysis of monosaccharide content in Arabidopsis-derived pectin between different genotypes or different treatments.

• Procedures for two sources of pectin are shown: seed coat mucilage and alcohol-insoluble residue.

• Allows quick analyses of neutral and acidic monosaccharides simultaneously.


Graphical overview


0 Q&A 765 Views Sep 20, 2022

Dolichol diphosphate-linked oligosaccharides (LLO) are the sugar donors in N-glycosylation, a fundamental protein post-translational modification of the eukaryotic secretory pathway. Defects in LLO biosynthesis produce human Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation Type I. The synthesis of LLOs and the transfer reactions to their protein acceptors is highly conserved among animal, plant, and fungi kingdoms, making the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe a suitable model to study these processes. Here, we present a protocol to determine the LLO patterns produced in vivo by S. pombe cells that may be easily adapted to other cell types. First, exponentially growing cultures are labeled with a pulse of [14C]-glucose. LLOs are then purified by successive extractions with organic solvents, and glycans are separated from the lipid moieties in mild acid hydrolysis and a new solvent extraction. The purified glycans are then run on paper chromatography. We use a deconvolution process to adjust the profile obtained to the minimal number of Gaussian functions needed to fit the data and determine the proportion of each species with respect to total glycan species present in the cell. The method we provide here might be used without any expensive or specialized equipment. The deconvolution process described here might also be useful to analyze species in non-completely resolved chromatograms.


Graphical abstract:



Workflow for the labeling, extraction, separation, and identification of LLO species in S. pombe. (A) Radioactive pulse of S. pombe cells with [14C]-glucose for 15 min at 28 °C. (B) Organic extraction of LLOs from labeled yeasts sequentially using methanol, chloroform, H2O, chloroform:methanol:H2O (1:1:0.3), 0.02 M HCl (to separate glycans from dolichol), and chloroform:methanol:H2O (1:16:16). (C) Preparation of the sample for chromatography on paper: drying by airflow and radioactivity check. (D) Loading of samples in chromatographic paper and descendent chromatography in a glass chamber. The obtained plots (CPM versus running distance) need to be analyzed to identify single glycan species.


0 Q&A 3315 Views Dec 20, 2021

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) (or lipooligosaccharides [LOS], which lack the O-antigen side chains characteristic of LPS), and outer membrane proteins (OMP) are major cell-surface molecules in the outer membrane (OM) of gram-negative bacteria. The LPS is responsible for causing endotoxic shock in infected hosts and, in conjunction with some OMPs, provides protection to the bacterium against host innate immune defenses and attachment to host cells. Electrophoretic analysis can provide valuable information regarding the size, number, and variability of LPS/LOS and OMP components between bacterial strains and mutants, which aids in understanding the basic biology and virulence factors of a particular species. Furthermore, highly purified extracts are normally not required if only electrophoretic analysis is to be done, and various methods have been established for such procedures. Here, we review ameliorated procedures for fast and convenient extraction of LPS/LOS and protein-enriched outer membranes (PEOM) for optimal electrophoretic resolution. Specifically, we will describe the phenol-based micro-method for LPS/LOS extraction, a differential extraction procedure with sodium lauryl sarcosinate for PEOM, and gel preparation for electrophoretic analysis of LPS/LOS samples in detail.



Graphic abstract:



Workflow for the preparation and analysis of LPS/LOS and PEOM.


0 Q&A 3086 Views Oct 5, 2021

Colloidal chitin (CC) is a common substrate used in research work involving chitin-active enzymes (chitinases). Cell free supernatant (CFS) is prepared from fermented broth. Preparation of CC and CFS usually involve large amounts of liquid, which must be separated from the solids. This necessitates the use of a large volume centrifugation facility, which may not be accessible to everyone. Filtration is a viable alternative to centrifugation, and several filter elements are described in the literature. Each of those elements has its own set of disadvantages like non-availability, high cost, fragility, and non-reusability. Here we describe the use of lab coat clothing material (LCCM) for the preparation of CC and CFS. For filtration purposes, the LCCM was found to be functional, rugged, reusable, and cost-effective. Also described here is a new method for the estimation of laminarinase using a laminarin infused agarose gel plate. An easily available optical fabric brightener (OFB) was used as a stain for the agarose plate. The laminarin infused agarose plate assay is simple, inexpensive, and was found to be impervious to high amounts of ammonium sulfate (AS) in enzyme precipitates.

0 Q&A 3296 Views Jul 5, 2021

Soluble sugars play key roles in plant growth, development, and adaption to the environment. Characterizing sugar content profiling of plant tissues promotes our understanding of the mechanisms underlying these plant processes. Several technologies have been developed to quantitate soluble sugar content in plant tissues; however, it is difficult with only minute quantities of plant tissues available. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based soluble sugar profiling of rice tissues that offers a good balance of sensitivity and reliability, and is considerably more sensitive and accurate than other reported methods. We summarize all the steps from sample collection and soluble sugar extraction to derivatization procedures of the soluble extracted sugars, instrumentation settings, and data analysis.

0 Q&A 3556 Views May 5, 2021

Chitin is an insoluble linear polymer of β(1→4)-linked N-acetylglucosamine. Enzymatic cleavage of chitin chains can be achieved using hydrolytic enzymes, called chitinases, and/or oxidative enzymes, called lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). These two groups of enzymes have different modes of action and yield different product types that require different analytical methods for detection and quantitation. While soluble chromogenic substrates are readily available for chitinases, proper insight into the activity of these enzymes can only be obtained by measuring activity toward their polymeric, insoluble substrate, chitin. For LPMOs, only assays using insoluble chitin are possible and relevant. Working with insoluble substrates complicates enzyme assays from substrate preparation to product analysis. Here, we describe typical set-ups for chitin degradation reactions and the chromatographic methods used for product analysis.


Graphical abstract:



Overview of chromatographic methods for assessing the enzymatic degradation of chitin


0 Q&A 3454 Views Apr 20, 2021

(1,3)-β-d-Glucan synthase (GS) is an essential enzyme for fungal cell wall biosynthesis that catalyzes the synthesis of (1,3)-β-d-glucan, a major and vital component of the cell wall. GS is a proven target of antifungal antibiotics including FDA-approved echinocandin derivatives; however, the function and mechanism of GS remain largely uncharacterized due to the absence of informative activity assays. Previously, a radioactive assay and reducing end modification have been used to characterize GS activity. The radioactive assay determines only the total amount of glucan formed through glucose incorporation and does not report the length of the polymers produced. The glucan length has been characterized by reducing end modification, but this method is unsuitable for mechanistic studies due to the very high detection limit of millimolar amounts and the labor intensiveness of the technique. Consequently, fundamental aspects of GS catalysis, such as the polymer length specificity, remain ambiguous. We have developed a size exclusion chromatography (SEC)-based method that allows detailed functional and mechanistic characterization of GS. The approach harnesses the pH-dependent solubility of (1,3)-β-d-glucan, where (1,3)-β-d-glucan forms water-soluble random coils under basic pH conditions, and can be analyzed by SEC using pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) and radioactivity counting (RC). This approach allows quantitative characterization of the total amount and length of glucan produced by GS with minimal workup and a d-glucose (Glc) detection limit of ~100 pmol. Consequently, this approach was successfully used for the kinetic characterization of GS, providing the first detailed mechanistic insight into GS catalysis. Due to its sensitivity, the assay is applicable to the characterization of GS from any fungi and can be adapted to study other polysaccharide synthases.

0 Q&A 3949 Views Mar 5, 2021

Targeted metabolomics is a useful approach to evaluate crop breeding studies. Antioxidant and flavor-related traits are of increasing interest and are considered quality traits in tomato breeding. The present study presents chromatographic methods to study antioxidants (carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, phenolic compounds, and glutathione) and flavor-related characters (sugars and organic acids) in tomato. Two different extraction methods (for polar and apolar entities) were applied to isolate the targeted compounds. The extraction methods developed in this work were time and cost-effective since no further purification was needed. Carotenoids, vitamin C, glutathione, and phenolic acids were analyzed by HPLC-PDA using a RP C18 column at an appropriate wavelength for each compound. Vitamin E and sugars were analyzed by HPLC with RP C18 and NH2 columns and detected by FLD and RI detectors, respectively. In addition, organic acids were analyzed with GC-FID using a Rtx 5DA column after derivatization with MSTFA. As a result, sensitive analytical methods to quantify important plant metabolites were developed and are described herein. These methods are not only applicable in tomato but are also useful to characterize other species for flavor-related and antioxidant compounds. Thus, these protocols can be used to guide selection in crop breeding.

0 Q&A 2694 Views Feb 20, 2021

Decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) biomaterials derived from native tissues and organs are widely used for tissue engineering and wound repair. To boost their regenerative potential, ECM biomaterials can be functionalized via the immobilization of bioactive molecules. To enable ECM functionalization in a chemoselective manner, we have recently reported an effective approach for labeling native organ ECM with the click chemistry-reactive azide ligand via physiologic post-translational glycosylation. Here, using the rat lung as a model, we provide a detailed protocol for in vivo and ex vivo metabolic azide labeling of the native organ ECM using N-Azidoacetylgalactosamine-tetraacylated (Ac4GalNAz), together with procedures for decellularization and labeling characterization. Our approach enables specific and robust ECM labeling within three days in vivo or within one day during ex vivo organ culture. The resulting ECM labeling remains stable following decellularization. With our approach, ECM biomaterials can be functionalized with desired alkyne-modified biomolecules, such as growth factors and glycosaminoglycans, for tissue engineering and regenerative applications.




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