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A case-control study in an Orcadian population investigating the relationship between human plasma N-glycans and metabolic syndrome.

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    Rights statement: Copyright: © 2016 McLachlan F, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of glycomics & Lipidomics
Early online date8 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2016


Background: Alterations in glycosylation patterns have long been known to reflect changes in cell metabolism. In this study, we investigated the relationship between human N-glycan profiles and metabolic syndrome.
Method: Between 2005 and 2011, 2,155 individuals from the Orkney Islands (UK) were recruited and biological material, alongside phenotypic measures were collected. Individual N-glycan profiles were measured in plasma using the weak anion exchange high performance liquid chromatography and calibrated hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography. Pre-specified criteria were used to identify 564 cases with metabolic syndrome and 1475 controls. We applied logistic regression to test for association between this binary outcome against measured plasma N-glycans. We also assessed the correlation between N-glycan traits and individual components of metabolic syndrome and compared this to results found in similar analyses based in Chinese and Croatian populations.
Results: 21 N-glycan traits were found to be associated with either an increased or a decreased likelihood of participants having metabolic syndrome, including monosialylated plasma N-glycans (OR of 1.49 (95%CI 1.33, 1.67), q = 1.26E-12) and core fucosylated plasma N-glycans (OR of 0.81(95%CI 0.72-0.90), q = 7.75E-4). Notably, consistent results in both sections of this analysis demonstrated the protective association of higher levels of core fucosylated N-glycans.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that metabolic syndrome is associated with an alteration in plasma N-glycosylation patterns. The metabolic role of core fucosylated N-glycans is of particular interest for future study.

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