The power of tears: how tear proteomics research could revolutionize the clinic.
O-Glycans in saliva and tear isolated from patients suffering from ocular rosacea, a form of inflammatory ocular surface disease, were profiled, and their structures were elucidated using high resolution mass spectrometry. We have previously shown that certain structures, particularly sulfated oligosaccharides, increased in the tear and saliva of rosacea patients. In this study, the structures of these glycans were elucidated using primarily tandem mass spectrometry. There were important similarities in the glycan profiles of tears and saliva with the majority of the structures in common. The structures of the most abundant species common to both tear and saliva, which were also the most abundant species in both, were elucidated. For sulfated species, the positions of the sulfate groups were localized. The majority of the structures were new, with the sulfated glycans comprising mucin core 1- and core 2-type structures. As both saliva and tear are rich in mucins, it is suggested that the O-glycans are mainly components of mucins. The study further illustrates the strong correspondence between the glycans in the tear and saliva of ocular rosacea patients.