In the study, we used Con A affinity chromatography, 1-D gel electrophoresis, and nano-LC-MS/MS to screen biomarker candidates in plasma samples obtained from 30 patients with gastric cancer and 30 healthy volunteers. First, we pooled plasma samples matched by age and sex. We identified 17 differentially expressed Con A-bound glycoproteins, including 10 upregulated proteins and 7 downregulated proteins; these differences were significant (Student's t-test, p-value41, trimethylation at aspartic acid-290, and flavin adenine dinucleotide at histidine-335. Biological significanceOur study was to describe a combinatorial approach of Con A affinity chromatography, 1-D SDS-PAGE, and nano-LC/MS/MS that provides a label-free, comparative glycoproteomic quantification strategy for the investigation of glycoprotein profiles in plasma from gastric cancer patients versus healthy volunteers and to identify glycoprotein biomarkers for the early clinical detection of gastric cancer. Three novel PTMs, HexHexNAc, trimethylation and FAD, in Con A-bound ITIH3 were identified and built in molecular modeling. The aspartic acid-290 trimethylation site was located in a metal ion-dependent adhesion site (MIDAS motif; 290-DXSXS. .T. .D-313) that may influence important function for binding protein ligands.
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