Honors & Awards
Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research (2017)
Stanford University School of Medicine Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE) Postdoctoral Fellowship, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions (2016)
Postdoctoral Travel Award, American Society of Mass Spectrometry (2014)
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Graduate Scholarship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2009)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Davis (2014)
Bachelor of Science, University of California Riverside (2009)
Sharon Pitteri, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Identification of Oligosaccharides in Feces of Breast-fed Infants and Their Correlation with the Gut Microbial Community
MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS
2016; 15 (9): 2987-3002
Glycans in breast milk are abundant and found as either free oligosaccharides or conjugated to proteins and lipids. Free human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) function as prebiotics by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria while preventing the binding of harmful bacteria to intestinal epithelial cells. Bacteria have adapted to the glycan-rich environment of the gut by developing enzymes that catabolize glycans. The decrease in HMOs and the increase in glycan digestion products give indications of the active enzymes in the microbial population. In this study, we quantitated the disappearance of intact HMOs and characterized the glycan digestion products in the gut that are produced by the action of microbial enzymes on HMOs and glycoconjugates from breast milk. Oligosaccharides from fecal samples of exclusively breast-fed infants were extracted and profiled using nanoLC-MS. Intact HMOs were found in the fecal samples, additionally, other oligosaccharides were found corresponding to degraded HMOs and non-HMO based compounds. The latter compounds were fragments of N-glycans released through the cleavage of the linkage to the asparagine residue and through cleavage of the chitobiose core of the N-glycan. Marker gene sequencing of the fecal samples revealed bifidobacteria as the dominant inhabitants of the infant gastrointestinal tracts. A glycosidase from Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum was then expressed to digest HMOs in vitro, which showed that the digested oligosaccharides in feces corresponded to the action of glycosidases on HMOs. Similar expression of endoglycosidases also showed that N-glycans were released by bacterial enzymes. Although bifidobacteria may dominate the gut, it is possible that specific minority species are also responsible for the major products observed in feces. Nonetheless, the enzymatic activity correlated well with the known glycosidases in the respective bacteria, suggesting a direct relationship between microbial abundances and catabolic activity.
View details for DOI 10.1074/mcp.M116.060665
View details for Web of Science ID 000384042300011
View details for PubMedID 27435585
Label-free absolute quantitation of oligosaccharides using multiple reaction monitoring.
2014; 86 (5): 2640-7
An absolute quantitation method for measuring free human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in milk samples was developed using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). To obtain the best sensitivity, the instrument conditions were optimized to reduce the source and postsource fragmentation prior to the quadrupole transmission. Fragmentation spectra of HMOs using collision-induced dissociation were studied to obtain the best characteristic fragments. At least two MRM transitions were used to quantify and identify each structure in the same run. The fragment ions corresponded to the production of singly charged mono-, di-, and trisaccharide fragments. The sensitivity and accuracy of the quantitation using MRM were determined, with the detection limit in the femtomole level and the calibration range spanning over 5 orders of magnitude. Seven commercial HMO standards were used to create calibration curves and were used to determine a universal response for all HMOs. The universal response factor was used to estimate absolute amounts of other structures and the total oligosaccharide content in milk. The quantitation method was applied to 20 human milk samples to determine the variations in HMO concentrations from women classified as secretors and nonsecretors, a phenotype that can be identified by the concentration of 2'-fucosylation in their milk.
View details for DOI 10.1021/ac404006z
View details for PubMedID 24502421
Human Milk Secretory Immunoglobulin A and Lactoferrin N-Glycans Are Altered in Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
JOURNAL OF NUTRITION
2013; 143 (12): 1906-1912
Very little is known about the effects of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on lactation and milk components. Recent reports suggested that hyperglycemia during pregnancy was associated with altered breast milk immune factors. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and N-glycans of milk immune-modulatory proteins are implicated in modulation of infant immunity. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effect of GDM on HMO and protein-conjugated glycan profiles in breast milk. Milk was collected at 2 wk postpartum from women diagnosed with (n = 8) or without (n = 16) GDM at week 24-28 in pregnancy. Milk was analyzed for HMO abundances, protein concentrations, and N-glycan abundances of lactoferrin and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). HMOs and N-glycans were analyzed by mass spectrometry and milk lactoferrin and sIgA concentrations were analyzed by the Bradford assay. The data were analyzed using multivariate modeling confirmed with univariate statistics to determine differences between milk of women with compared with women without GDM. There were no differences in HMOs between milk from women with vs. without GDM. Milk from women with GDM compared with those without GDM was 63.6% lower in sIgA protein (P < 0.05), 45% higher in lactoferrin total N-glycans (P < 0.0001), 36-72% higher in lactoferrin fucose and sialic acid N-glycans (P < 0.01), and 32-43% lower in sIgA total, mannose, fucose, and sialic acid N-glycans (P < 0.05). GDM did not alter breast milk free oligosaccharide abundances but decreased total protein and glycosylation of sIgA and increased glycosylation of lactoferrin in transitional milk. The results suggest that maternal glucose dysregulation during pregnancy has lasting consequences that may influence the innate immune protective functions of breast milk.
View details for DOI 10.3945/jn.113.180695
View details for Web of Science ID 000327571500006
View details for PubMedID 24047700
Variation in Consumption of Human Milk Oligosaccharides by Infant Gut-Associated Strains of Bifidobacterium breve
APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY
2013; 79 (19): 6040-6049
Human milk contains a high concentration of complex oligosaccharides that influence the composition of the intestinal microbiota in breast-fed infants. Previous studies have indicated that select species such as Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis and Bifidobacterium bifidum can utilize human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) in vitro as the sole carbon source, while the relatively few B. longum subsp. longum and Bifidobacterium breve isolates tested appear less adapted to these substrates. Considering the high frequency at which B. breve is isolated from breast-fed infant feces, we postulated that some B. breve strains can more vigorously consume HMO and thus are enriched in the breast-fed infant gastrointestinal tract. To examine this, a number of B. breve isolates from breast-fed infant feces were characterized for the presence of different glycosyl hydrolases that participate in HMO utilization, as well as by their ability to grow on HMO or specific HMO species such as lacto-N-tetraose (LNT) and fucosyllactose. All B. breve strains showed high levels of growth on LNT and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), and, in general, growth on total HMO was moderate for most of the strains, with several strain differences. Growth and consumption of fucosylated HMO were strain dependent, mostly in isolates possessing a glycosyl hydrolase family 29 α-fucosidase. Glycoprofiling of the spent supernatant after HMO fermentation by select strains revealed that all B. breve strains can utilize sialylated HMO to a certain extent, especially sialyl-lacto-N-tetraose. Interestingly, this specific oligosaccharide was depleted before neutral LNT by strain SC95. In aggregate, this work indicates that the HMO consumption phenotype in B. breve is variable; however, some strains display specific adaptations to these substrates, enabling more vigorous consumption of fucosylated and sialylated HMO. These results provide a rationale for the predominance of this species in breast-fed infant feces and contribute to a more accurate picture of the ecology of the developing infant intestinal microbiota.
View details for DOI 10.1128/AEM.01843-13
View details for Web of Science ID 000324176900027
View details for PubMedID 23892749
Glyco-Analytical Multispecific Proteolysis (Glyco-AMP): A Simple Method for Detailed and Quantitative Glycoproteomic Characterization
JOURNAL OF PROTEOME RESEARCH
2013; 12 (10): 4414-4423
Despite recent advances, site-specific profiling of protein glycosylation remains a significant analytical challenge for conventional proteomic methodology. To alleviate the issue, we propose glyco-analytical multispecific proteolysis (Glyco-AMP) as a strategy for glycoproteomic characterization. Glyco-AMP consists of rapid, in-solution digestion of an analyte glycoprotein (or glycoprotein mixture) by a multispecific protease (or protease cocktail). Resulting glycopeptides are chromatographically separated by isomer-specific porous graphitized carbon nano-LC, quantified by high-resolution MS, and structurally elucidated by MS/MS. To demonstrate the consistency and customizability of Glyco-AMP methodology, the glyco-analytical performances of multispecific proteases subtilisin, pronase, and proteinase K were characterized in terms of quantitative accuracy, sensitivity, and digestion kinetics. Glyco-AMP was shown be effective on glycoprotein mixtures as well as glycoproteins with multiple glycosylation sites, providing detailed, quantitative, site- and structure-specific information about protein glycosylation.
View details for DOI 10.1021/pr400442y
View details for Web of Science ID 000326320300013
View details for PubMedID 24016182
Comprehensive Profiles of Human Milk Oligosaccharides Yield Highly Sensitive and Specific Markers for Determining Secretor Status in Lactating Mothers
JOURNAL OF PROTEOME RESEARCH
2012; 11 (12): 6124-6133
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), as an abundant and bioactive component of breast milk, work in many ways to promote the health of breast fed infants. The expression of HMOs has been shown to vary in accordance with Lewis blood type and secretor status, as women of different blood types differ in the expression of α1,2 fucosyltransferase (FUT2) and α1,3/4 fucosyltransferase (FUT3). In this study, HMOs were extracted from the milk of 60 women from The Gambia, Africa with various Lewis and secretor blood types. The HMOs were profiled using high resolution HPLC-Chip/TOF mass spectrometry. Notably, the amounts of fucosylation varied significantly between Le(a+b-) nonsecretors, Le(a-b+) and Le(a-b-) secretors, and Le(a-b-) nonsecretors. With higher frequency of expression of the recessive Lewis negative and nonsecretor phenotypes in West African populations, the HMO profiles of several milks from women of these phenotypes were examined, demonstrating decreased amounts of total oligosaccharide abundance and lower relative amounts of fucosylation. Also in this study, four specific fucosylated structures (2'FL, LNFP I, LDFT, and LNDFH I) were determined to be specific and sensitive glycan markers for rapidly determining secretor status without the need for serological testing.
View details for DOI 10.1021/pr300769g
View details for Web of Science ID 000311925900048
View details for PubMedID 23140396
Heterogeneity of depolymerized heparin SEC fractions: to pool or not to pool?
2008; 343 (17): 2963-2970
In the structural analysis of heparin and heparan sulfate, it is customary to combine or pool like-sized fractions obtained by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) of enzymatically derived heparin oligosaccharides. In this study, we examine the heterogeneity of preparative-scale SEC fractions obtained from enzymatic digests of porcine intestinal mucosa heparin. Each fraction was profiled by capillary electrophoresis with UV detection (CE-UV) using a 60 mM formic acid running buffer at pH 3.43. Differences in the composition and relative concentration of components of the SEC fractions were observed for disaccharides and larger oligosaccharides. The heterogeneity of the fractions becomes more pronounced when heparin is digested using a heparin lyase cocktail. The heterogeneity of preparative SEC fractions was further investigated by reversed-phase ion-pairing ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (RPIP-UPLC-MS) using the ion-pairing reagent, tributylamine (Bu(3)N). Our results suggest that preliminary profiling of preparative SEC fractions prior to pooling may simplify efforts to identify and/or isolate rare structures.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.carres.2008.08.027
View details for Web of Science ID 000261134300014
View details for PubMedID 18804200
Ultraperformance ion-pair liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry for compositional profiling and quantification of heparin and heparan sulfate
2008; 80 (4): 1297-1306
Heparin and heparan sulfate (HS) are important pharmaceutical targets because they bind a large number of proteins, including growth factors and cytokines, mediating many biological processes. Because of their biological significance and complexity, there is a need for development of rapid and sensitive analytical techniques for the characterization and compositional analysis of heparin and HS at the disaccharide level, as well as for the structure elucidation of larger glycosaminoglycan (GAG) sequences important for protein binding. In this work, we present a rapid method for analysis of disaccharide composition using reversed-phase ion-pairing ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry ((RPIP)-UPLC-MS). Heparin disaccharide standards were eluted in less than 5 min. The method was used to determine the constituents of GAGs from unfractionated heparin/HS from various bovine and porcine tissues, and the results were compared with literature values.
View details for DOI 10.1021/ac702235u
View details for Web of Science ID 000253165400051
View details for PubMedID 18215021