Profiling anti-Neu5Gc IgG in human sera with a sialoglycan microarray assay

Shani Leviatan Ben-Arye, Hai Yu, Xi Chen, Vered Padler-Karavani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cells are covered with a cloak of carbohydrate chains (glycans) that is commonly altered in cancer and that includes variations in sialic acid (Sia) expression. These are acidic sugars that have a 9-carbon backbone and that cap vertebrate glycans on cell surfaces. Two of the major Sia forms in mammals are N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and its hydroxylated form, N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). Humans cannot produce endogenous Neu5Gc due to the inactivation of the gene encoding cytidine 5’monophosphate-Neu5Ac (CMP-Neu5Ac) hydroxylase (CMAH). Foreign Neu5Gc is acquired by human cells through the dietary consumption of red meat and dairy and subsequently appears on diverse glycans on the cell surface, accumulating mostly on carcinomas. Consequently, humans have circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies that play diverse roles in cancer and other chronic inflammation-mediated diseases and that are becoming potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Here, we describe a high-throughput sialoglycan microarray assay to assess such anti-Neu5Gc antibodies in the human sera. Neu5Gc-containing glycans and their matched pairs of controls (Neu5Ac-containing glycans), each with a core primary amine, are covalently linked to epoxy-coated glass slides. We exemplify the printing of 56 slides in a 16-well format using a specific nano-printer capable of generating up to 896 arrays per print. Each slide can be used to screen 16 different human sera samples for the evaluation of anti-Neu5Gc antibody specificity, intensity, and diversity. The protocol describes the complexity of this robust tool and provides a basic guideline for those aiming to investigate the response to Neu5Gc dietary carbohydrate antigen in diverse clinical samples in an array format.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56094
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number125
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2017


  • Antibodies
  • Behavior
  • Cancer
  • Carbohydrate
  • Diagnostics
  • Glycan microarray
  • High-throughput assay
  • Issue 125
  • Lectin
  • N-acetylneuraminic acid
  • N-glycolylneuraminic acid
  • Neu5Ac
  • Neu5Gc
  • Sialic acid


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