Identification and validation of mannose 6-phosphate glycoproteins in human plasma reveal a wide range of lysosomal and non-lysosomal proteins

David Sleat, Yanhong Wang, Istvan Sohar, Henry Lackland, Yan Li, Hong Li, Haiyan Zheng, Peter Lobel

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61 Scopus citations


Acid hydrolase activities are normally confined within the cell to the lysosome, a membrane-delimited cytoplasmic organelle primarily responsible for the degradation of macromolecules. However, lysosomal proteins are also present in human plasma, and a proportion of these retain mannose 6-phosphate (Man-6-P), a modification on N-linked glycans that is recognized by Man-6-P receptors (MPRs) that normally direct the targeting of these proteins to the lysosome. In this study, we purified the Man-6-P glycoforms of proteins from human plasma by affinity chromatography on immobilized MPRs and characterized this subproteome by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and by tandem mass spectrometry. As expected, we identified many known and potential candidate lysosomal proteins. In addition, we also identified a number of abundant classical plasma proteins that were retained even after two consecutive rounds of affinity purification. Given their abundance in plasma, we initially considered these proteins to be likely contaminants, but a mass spectrometric study of Man-6-phosphorylation sites using MPR-purified glycopeptides revealed that some proportion of these classical plasma proteins contained the Man-6-P modification. We propose that these glycoproteins are phosphorylated at low levels by the lysosomal enzyme phosphotransferase, but their high abundance results in detection of Man-6-P glycoforms in plasma. These results may provide useful insights into the molecular processes underlying Man-6-phosphorylation and highlight circumstances under which the presence of Man-6-P may not be indicative of lysosomal function. In addition, characterization of the plasma Man-6-P glycoproteome should facilitate development of mass spectrometry-based tools for the diagnosis of lysosomal storage diseases and for investigating the involvement of Man-6-P-containing glycoproteins in more widespread human diseases and their potential utility as biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1956
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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