Proposal for a standard system for drawing structural diagrams of N- and O-linked carbohydrates and related compounds

Proteomics. 2009 Aug;9(15):3796-801. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200900096.


Symbolic diagrams are commonly used to depict N- and O-linked glycans but there is no general consensus as to how individual constituent monosaccharides or linkages are shown. This article proposes a system that avoids ambiguities inherent in most other systems and is appropriate for both hand drawing and computer applications. Constituent monosaccharides are depicted by shapes modified to show OAc, deoxy, etc. Linkage is indicated by the bond angle and anomericity by solid (beta) or dashed (alpha) lines.

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure


  • Carbohydrates