Glycosylation is one of the most common posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of proteins, the characterization of which is commonly achieved through proteomic protocol, involving trypsin digestion followed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). However, it is often not possible to characterize all glycopeptides in a complex sample because of the high complexity of glycoproteomic samples, and the relative lower abundances of glycopeptides in comparison to the unmodified peptides. We present here a targeted MS/MS analysis approach, which utilizes a previously developed computational tool, GlyPID, to guide multiple experiments, thus permitting a complete characterization of all N-glycosylation sites of glycoproteins present in a complex sample. We have tested our approach using model glycoproteins analyzed by high-resolution LTQ-FT MS. The results demonstrate a potential use of our method for a high-throughput characterization of complex mixtures of glycosylated proteins.
2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.