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Glycoprotein Analysis Using Mass Spectrometry: Unraveling the Layers of Complexity



John E. Schiel


It is generally understood that DNA serves as the direct template that eventually encodes a protein responsible for biochemical function. Alterations of a protein after synthesis (post-translational modifications, PTMs) can play a large role in a protein’s form and function. Glycosylation is the most abundant PTM and arises from the addition of carbohydrates (glycans) to a protein. The inherent complexity of this PTM has resulted in glycan measurement lagging behind that of other biochemical polymers, despite the enormous impact glycosylation confers. The following review describes the various levels of glycan structure that can be measured with mass spectrometry techniques. Each stage of analysis reveals another layer of biochemical complexity, which correlates to a new level of analytical scrutiny. The recent trends toward improving glycoanalytical throughput and measurement science are highlighted.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry


Glycoprotein, Glycan, Mass Spectrometry, Standards


Schiel, J. (2012), Glycoprotein Analysis Using Mass Spectrometry: Unraveling the Layers of Complexity, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created June 12, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017