Specific glycoforms of MUC5AC and endorepellin accurately distinguish mucinous from nonmucinous pancreatic cysts.


Specific protein glycoforms may be uniquely informative about the pathological state of a cyst and may serve as accurate biomarkers. Here we tested that hypothesis using antibody-lectin sandwich arrays in broad screens of protein glycoforms and in targeted studies of candidate markers. We profiled 16 different glycoforms of proteins captured by 72 different antibodies in cyst fluid from mucinous and nonmucinous cysts (n = 22), and we then tested a three-marker panel in 22 addition samples and 22 blinded samples. Glycan alterations were not widespread among the proteins and were mainly confined to MUC5AC and endorepellin. Specific glycoforms of these proteins, defined by reactivity with wheat germ agglutinin and a blood group H antibody, were significantly elevated in mucinous cysts, whereas the core protein levels were not significantly elevated. A three-marker panel based on these glycoforms distinguished mucinous from nonmucinous cysts with 93% accuracy (89% sensitivity, 100% specificity) in a prevalidation sample set (n = 44) and with 91% accuracy (87% sensitivity, 100% specificity) in independent, blinded samples (n = 22). Targeted lectin measurements and mass spectrometry analyses indicated that the higher wheat germ agglutinin and blood group H reactivity was due to oligosaccharides terminating in GlcNAc or N-acetyl-lactosamine with occasional α1,2-linked fucose. The results show that MUC5AC and endorepellin glycoforms may be highly specific and sensitive biomarkers for the differentiation of mucinous from nonmucinous pancreatic cysts.


The following biomarkers make reference to this publication:

  • Allen P
  • Brand R
  • Brouhard E
  • Cao Z
  • Castelli P
  • Crippa S
  • Cunningham J
  • Curnutte B
  • Fallon B
  • Feasley CL
  • Feng Z
  • Haab BB
  • Kwon R
  • Maupin K
  • Simeone DM
  • West CM
PubMed ID
Appears In
Mol Cell Proteomics, 2013, 12 (10)