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The N-linked glycosylation of recombinant human CD59, expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with and without a membrane anchor, was compared to examine the effect of the anchor on glycan processing. N-Linked glycans were released with peptide-N-glycosidase F (PNGase F) within gel from SDS-PAGE-isolated soluble and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored human CD59 expressed in CHO cells. The anchored form contained core-fucosylated neutral and sialylated bi-, tri-, and tetraantennary glycans with up to four N-acetyllactosamine extensions. Exoglycosidase digestions and analysis by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry were used to define the relative amounts of the bi-, tri-, and tetraantennary glycans and to investigate the distribution of N-acetyllactosamine extensions between their antennae. Biantennary structures accounted for about 60% of the glycans, 30% of the triantennary structures, and about 10% of the tetraantennary structures. For tri- and tetraantennary glycans, those with extended antennae were found to be more abundant than those without extensions. The soluble form of CD59, expressed in CHO cells without the GPI anchor signal sequence, consisted almost entirely (97%) of biantennary glycans, of which 81% were unmodified, 17% contained one N-acetyllactosamine extension, and 2% contained two extensions. No compounds with longer extensions were found. A MALDI spectrum of the intact glycoprotein showed a distribution of glycans that matched those released with PNGase F. In addition, the protein was substituted with several small glycans, such as HexNAc, HexNAc-->Fuc, and HexNAc-->HexNAc, probably as the result of degradation of the mature N-linked glycans. The results show that the presence of the anchor increases the extent of glycan processing, possibly as the result of longer exposure to the glycosyltransferases or to a closer proximity of the protein to these enzymes.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





261 - 271


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, CD59 Antigens, CHO Cells, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Cricetinae, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Glycosylphosphatidylinositols, Molecular Sequence Data, Polysaccharides, Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization