Comprehending COVID-19: Rapid and Sensitive Characterization of N-Glycans from SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

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Xiaoxiao Liu, Matthew A. Lauber
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in extensive efforts to develop vaccines to the novel coronavirus. Identifying vaccine targets relies on robust analytical methods to understand SARS-CoV-2 structural biology. This work is focused on understanding the N-glycosylation profile of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which has emerged as a potential target for vaccine development. As glycans often dictate critical glycoprotein structure and function, understanding SARS-CoV-2 spike protein glycans is essential to further therapeutic development. This work utilizes the GlycoWorks RapiFluor-MS N-Glycan Kit to easily and rapidly detect SARS-CoV-2 spike protein N-Glycans. As a result, 42 major glycan peaks were identified, 2 of which are tentatively assigned as doubly fucosylated. This work motivates further MS/MS analysis to confirm the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein glycosylation profile.

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