Changes in O-linked protein glycosylation are known to correlate with disease states but are difficult to monitor in a physiological setting because of a lack of experimental tools. Here, we report a technique for rapid profiling of O-linked glycoproteins in living animals by metabolic labeling with N-azidoacetylgalactosamine (GalNAz) followed by Staudinger ligation with phosphine probes. After injection of mice with a peracetylated form of GalNAz, azide-labeled glycoproteins were observed in a variety of tissues, including liver, kidney, and heart, in serum, and on isolated splenocytes. B cell glycoproteins were robustly labeled with GalNAz but T cell glycoproteins were not, suggesting fundamental differences in glycosylation machinery or metabolism. Furthermore, GalNAz-labeled B cells could be selectively targeted with a phosphine probe by Staudinger ligation within the living animal. Metabolic labeling with GalNAz followed by Staudinger ligation provides a means for proteomic analysis of this posttranslational modification and for identifying O-linked glycoprotein fingerprints associated with disease. © 2006 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
Dube, Danielle H.; Prescher, Jennifer A.; Quang, Chi M.; and Bertozzi, Carolyn R., "Probing mucin-type O-linked glycosylation in living animals" (2006). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 13.