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Lang, Robert; Leinenbach, Andreas; Karl, Johann; Swiatek-de Lange, Magdalena; Kobold, Uwe; Vogeser, Michael (2018): An endoglycosidase-assisted LC-MS/MS-based strategy for the analysis of site-specific core-fucosylation of low-concentrated glycoproteins in human serum using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as example. In: Clinica Chimica Acta, Vol. 480: pp. 1-8
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Recently, site-specific fucosylation of glycoproteins has attracted attention as it can be associated with several types of cancers including prostate cancer. However, individual glycoproteins, which might serve as potential cancer markers, often are very low-concentrated in complex serum matrices and distinct glycan structures are hard to detect by immunoassays. Here, we present a mass spectrometry-based strategy for the simultaneous analysis of core-fucosylated and total prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in human serum in the low ng/ml concentration range. Sample preparation comprised an immunoaffinity capture step to enrich total PSA from human serum using anti-PSA antibody coated magnetic beads followed by consecutive two-step on-bead partial de-glycosylation with endoglycosidase F3 and tryptic digestion prior to LC-MS/MS analysis. The method was shown to be linear from 0.5 to 60 ng/ml total PSA concentrations and allows the simultaneous quantification of core-fucosylated PSA down to 1 ng/ml and total PSA lower than 0.5 ng/ml. The imprecision of the method over two days ranged from 9.7-23.2% for core-fucosylated PSA and 10.3-18.3% for total PSA depending on the PSA level. The feasibility of the method in native sera was shown using three human specimens. To our knowledge, this is the first MS-based method for quantification of core-fucosylated PSA in the low ng/ml concentration range in human serum. This method could be used in large patient cohorts as core-fucosylated PSA may be a diagnostic biomarker for the differentiation of prostate cancer and other prostatic diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Furthermore, the described strategy could be used to monitor potential changes in site-specific core-fucosylation of other low-concentrated glycoproteins, which could serve as more specific markers ("marker refinement") in cancer research.