Mass spectrometry and the emerging field of glycomics

Chem Biol. 2008 Sep 22;15(9):881-92. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2008.07.016.


The biological significance of protein and lipid glycosylation is well established. For example, cells respond to environmental stimuli by altering glycan structures on their surfaces, and cancer cells evade normal growth regulation in part by remodeling their surface glycans. In general, glycan chemical properties differ significantly from those of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and small molecule metabolites. Thus, advances in glycomics, a comprehensive study to identify all glycans in an organism, rely on the development of specialized analytical methods. Mass spectrometry (MS) is emerging as an enabling technology in the field of glycomics. This review summarizes recent developments in mass spectrometric analysis methods for protein-based glycomics and glycoproteomics workflows.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biochemical Phenomena
  • Biochemistry
  • Glycomics / methods*
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / analysis*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*


  • Ions
  • Peptides
  • Polysaccharides