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PloS one

WGA-based lectin affinity gel electrophoresis: A novel method for the detection of O-GlcNAc-modified proteins.


PMID 28686627

Abstract

Post-translational modification with O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) occurs selectively on serine and/or threonine residues of cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins, and dynamically regulates their molecular functions. Since conventional strategies to evaluate the O-GlcNAcylation level of a specific protein require time-consuming steps, the development of a rapid and easy method for the detection and quantification of an O-GlcNAcylated protein has been a challenging issue. Here, we describe a novel method in which O-GlcNAcylated and non-O-GlcNAcylated forms of proteins are separated by lectin affinity gel electrophoresis using wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which primarily binds to N-acetylglucosamine residues. Electrophoresis of cell lysates through a gel containing copolymerized WGA selectively induced retardation of the mobility of O-GlcNAcylated proteins, thereby allowing the simultaneous visualization of both the O-GlcNAcylated and the unmodified forms of proteins. This method is therefore useful for the quantitative detection of O-GlcNAcylated proteins.