Terminal galactosylation and sialylation switching on membrane glycoproteins upon TNF-alpha-induced insulin resistance in adipocytes

Benjamin L. Parker, Morten Thaysen-Andersen, Daniel J. Fazakerley, Mira Holliday, Nicolle H. Packer, David E. James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin resistance (IR) is a complex pathophysiological state that arises from both environmental and genetic perturbations and leads to a variety of diseases, including type-2 diabetes (T2D). Obesity is associated with enhanced adipose tissue inflammation, which may play a role in disease progression. Inflammation modulates protein glycosylation in a variety of cell types, and this has been associated with biological dysregulation. Here, we have examined the effects of an inflammatory insult on protein glycosylation in adipocytes. We performed quantitative N-glycome profiling of membrane proteins derived from mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes that had been incubated with or without the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha to induce IR. We identified the regulation of specific terminal N-glycan epitopes, including an increase in terminal di-galactose- and a decrease in biantennary alpha-2,3- sialoglycans. The altered N-glycosylation of TNF-alphatreated adipocytes correlated with the regulation of specific glycosyltransferases, including the up-regulation of B4GalT5 and Ggta1 galactosyltransferases and downregulation of ST3Gal6 sialyltransferase. Knockdown of B4GalT5 down-regulated the terminal di-galactose N-glycans, confirming the involvement of this enzyme in the TNF-alpha-regulated N-glycome. SILAC-based quantitative glycoproteomics of enriched N-glycopeptides with and without deglycosylation were used to identify the protein and glycosylation sites modified with these regulated N-glycans. The combined proteome and glycoproteome workflow provided a relative quantification of changes in protein abundance versus N-glycosylation occupancy versus site-specific N-glycans on a proteomewide level. This revealed the modulation of N-glycosylation on specific proteins in IR, including those previously associated with insulin-stimulated GLUT4 trafficking to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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