Mammalian brain glycome remains a relatively poorly understood area compared to other large-scale “omics” studies, such as genomics and transcriptomics due to the inherent complexity and heterogeneity of glycan structure and properties. Here, we first performed spatial and temporal analysis of glycome expression patterns in the mammalian brain using a cutting-edge experimental tool based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, with the ultimate aim to yield valuable implications on molecular events regarding brain functions and development. We observed an apparent diversity in the glycome expression patterns, which is spatially well-preserved among nine different brain regions in mouse. Next, we explored whether the glycome expression pattern changes temporally during postnatal brain development by examining the prefrontal cortex (PFC) at different time point across six postnatal stages in mouse. We found that glycan expression profiles were dynamically regulated during postnatal developments. A similar result was obtained in PFC samples from humans ranging in age from 39 d to 49 y. Novel glycans unique to the brain were also identified. Interestingly, changes primarily attributed to sialylated and fucosylated glycans were extensively observed during PFC development. Finally, based on the vast heterogeneity of glycans, we constructed a core glyco-synthesis map to delineate the glycosylation pathway responsible for the glycan diversity during the PFC development. Our findings reveal high levels of diversity in a glycosylation program underlying brain region specificity and age dependency, and may lead to new studies exploring the role of glycans in spatiotemporally diverse brain functions.
mammalian, brain, spatiotemporal, glycosylation, LC-MS