Glycosylation Alterations in Multiple Sclerosis Show Increased Proinflammatory Potential

Ana Cvetko, Domagoj Kifer, Olga Gornik, Lucija Klarić, Elizabeth Visser, Gordan Lauc, James F Wilson, Tamara Štambuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system (CNS), with unresolved aetiology. Previous studies have implicated N-glycosylation, a highly regulated enzymatic attachment of complex sugars to targeted proteins, in MS pathogenesis. We investigated individual variation in N-glycosylation of the total plasma proteome and of IgG in MS. Both plasma protein and IgG N-glycans were chromatographically profiled and quantified in 83 MS cases and 88 age- and sex-matched controls. Comparing levels of glycosylation features between MS cases and controls revealed that core fucosylation (p = 6.96 × 10-3) and abundance of high-mannose structures (p = 1.48 × 10-2) were the most prominently altered IgG glycosylation traits. Significant changes in plasma protein N-glycome composition were observed for antennary fucosylated, tri- and tetrasialylated, tri- and tetragalactosylated, high-branched N-glycans (p-value range 1.66 × 10-2-4.28 × 10-2). Classification performance of N-glycans was examined by ROC curve analysis, resulting in an AUC of 0.852 for the total plasma N-glycome and 0.798 for IgG N-glycome prediction models. Our results indicate that multiple aspects of protein glycosylation are altered in MS, showing increased proinflammatory potential. N-glycan alterations showed substantial value in classification of the disease status, nonetheless, additional studies are warranted to explore their exact role in MS development and utility as biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020


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