Characterization of N- and O-linked glycosylation changes in milk of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) over lactation

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Wongtrakul-Kish, Katherine
Kolarich, Daniel
Pascovici, Dana
Joss, Janice L
Deane, Elizabeth
Packer, Nicolle H
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2013
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Abstract

As one of several biologically active compounds in milk, glycoproteins have been indicated to be involved in the protection of newborns from bacterial infection. As much of the physical and immune development of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) young occurs during the early phases of lactation and not in utero, the tammar is a model species for the characterization of potential developmental support agents provided by maternal milk.

In the present study, the N- and O-linked glycans from tammar wallaby milk glycoproteins from six individuals at different lactation time points were subjected to glycomics analyses using porous graphitized carbon liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Structural characterization identified a diverse range of glycan structures on wallaby milk glycoproteins including sialylated, sulphated, core fucosylated and O-fucosylated structures. 30 % of N-linked structures contained a core (α1-6) fucose. Several of these structures may play roles in development, and exhibit statistically significant temporal changes over the lactation period. The N-glycome was found to contain structures with NeuGc residues, while in contrast the O-glycome did not. O-fucosylated structures were identified in the early stages of lactation indicating a potential role in the early stages of development of the pouch young. Overall the results suggest that wallaby milk contains structures known to have developmental and immunological significance in human milk and reproduction in other animals, highlighting the importance of glycoproteins in milk.

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Glycoconjugate Journal

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30

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5

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Biochemistry and cell biology

Biochemistry and cell biology not elsewhere classified

Medical microbiology

Neurosciences

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