Waters enters into glycosylation collaboration

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  • Published: Jun 22, 2016
  • Author: Jon Evans
  • Source: Waters Corporation
  • Suppliers: Waters Corporation
  • Channels: HPLC / Base Peak

Waters Corporation has announced a joint effort with the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI), a research institute within Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, to develop new methods of finding cancer markers and elucidating glycosylation pathways that could pave the way for new therapeutic strategies.

As part of the research collaboration, Waters and BTI will develop a glycosphingolipid (GSL) head group database containing glucose unit (GU) retention times and collision cross-section (CCS) values in an effort to compile an experimental library for disease-related GSL glycans together with a glycan/MS spectral library.

GSLs are highly complex structures in which glycan head groups are attached to fatty acyl moieties. Analyzing the molecular composition of GSLs involves detailing the sequence, anomericity, branching and linkage positions of the oligosaccharides as well as their fatty acyl motifs. GSLs are critical for cell growth, interaction and signalling, and alterations to their structure may result in diseases or promote the development of different types of cancer. The analysis of the glycan head groups poses a particular analytical challenge for glycoscience because isomeric structures are not easily differentiated by either liquid chromatography (LC) or mass spectrometry (MS) technologies when used alone.

“Collaborating with Waters will enable BTI to apply its expertise in glycomics to develop analytical methods and a library of information on GSLs that doesn’t yet exist today. This will allow us to probe for potential clinical markers and to provide insights into disease progression and regression following therapeutic intervention. We anticipate our science will advance human health while at the same time address some of the needs of the biopharmaceutical industry,” said scientific lead Susanto Woen, a research scientist at BTI. “The partnership also allows us to be part of an international glycomics research network pioneering technologies required to determine the potential association between GSL glycosylation and any phenotypic/genotypic traits in disease or disease states.”

“By taking our partnership to a new level, we will empower BTI to further develop novel analytical methods and establish a comprehensive experimental glycan spectral library for cancer glycobiology focusing on glycosphingolipids. Together, we want to advance methods to study GSL glycosylation in cancer classification and biomarker discovery,” said Jose Castro-Perez, director – health sciences marketing at Waters.

As part of the collaboration, Waters will be contributing scientific expertise and the use of a Waters SYNAPT G2-S High Definition Mass Spectrometry system. This instrument features ion mobility mass spectrometry technology that rapidly separates molecular ions by not only their size and mass-to-charge ratios, but by their shape as well. A CCS value is a precise physicochemical property of an ion related to its size, shape and charge in the gas phase. The ability to determine the separation of molecules based on a CCS value for each glycan head group reveals insights into their unique chemical structure, which in turn can be used as an additional descriptor for the GSL in question, thus providing a higher degree of specificity than using just mass-to-charge ratios alone.

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