Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan that causes Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle involving insect and mammalian hosts and distinct developmental stages. During T. cruzi developmental stages, glycoproteins play important role in the host-parasite interaction, such as cellular recognition, host cell invasion and adhesion, and immune evasion. In this study, comprehensive glycoprofiling analysis was performed in the epimastigote and trypomastigote stages of T. cruzi using two glycopeptide enrichment strategies, lectin-based and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, followed by high resolution LC-MS/MS. Following deglycosylation, a total of 1306 N-glycosylation sites in NxS/T/C motifs were identified from 690 T. cruzi glycoproteins. Among them, 170 and 334 glycoproteins were exclusively identified in epimastigotes and trypomastigotes, respectively. Besides, global site-specific characterization of the N- and O-linked glycan heterogeneity in the two life stages of T. cruzi was achieved by intact glycopeptide analysis, revealing 144/466 unique N-linked and 10/97 unique O-linked intact glycopeptides in epimastigotes/trypomastigotes, respectively. Conclusively, this study documents the significant T. cruzi stage-specific expression of glycoproteins that can help to better understand the T. cruzi phenotype and response caused by the interaction with different hosts during its complex life cycle. Biological significance Chagas disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi is a neglected disease which affects millions of people especially in Latin America. The absence of efficient drugs and vaccines against Chagas disease stimulates the search for novel targets. Glycoproteins are very attractive therapeutic candidate targets since they mediate key processes in the host-parasite interaction, such as cellular recognition, host cell invasion and adhesion, and immune evasion. This study aimed to provide an in depth characterization of the N-linked and O-linked glycoproteome of two T. cruzi life stages: epimastigotes and trypomastigotes. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics showed interesting stage-specific glycoproteome signatures that are valuable to better understand the importance of protein glycosylation in epimastigotes and trypomastigotes and to expand the repertoire of potential therapeutic targets against Chagas disease.
- Mass spectrometry
- T. cruzi