Author(s): Bousfield GR, Butnev VY, RuedaSantos MA, Brown A, Hall AS
Abstract FSH glycosylation macroheterogeneity in pituitary and urinary hFSH samples was evaluated by Western blotting. Microheterogeneity in two highly purified urinary and pituitary hFSH preparations was evaluated by nano-electrospray mass spectrometry of peptide-N-glycanase-released oligosaccharides. An age-related loss of hypo-glycosylated hFSH in individual female pituitaries was indicated by progressively reduced abundance of hFSH21 relative to hFSH24. Urinary hFSH was evaluated as a potentially non-invasive indicator of glycoform abundance, as the only way for pituitary FSH to reach the urine is through the blood. Both highly purified and crude postmenopausal urinary hFSH preparations possessed the same amount of hFSH21 as postmenopausal pituitary gland FSH. Considerable microheterogeneity was encountered in both pituitary and urinary hFSH glycan populations, as 84 pituitary hFSH glycan ions were observed as compared with 68 urinary hFSH glycans. The biggest quantitative differences between the two populations were reduced abundance of bisecting GlcNAc-containing and fucosylated glycans, along with sulfated glycans in the urinary hFSH glycan population. The relative abundance of sialic acid and glycan antenna did not rationalize the retarded electrophoretic mobilities of the urinary hFSHβ21- and α-subunit bands relative to the corresponding pituitary hFSH bands, as the most abundant glycans in the former possessed only 2 more branches and the same sialic content as in the latter. Site-specific glycosylation information will probably be necessary.