Glycoproteomics-based identification of cancer biomarkers

Int J Proteomics. 2011;2011:601937. doi: 10.1155/2011/601937. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Abstract

Protein glycosylation is one of the most common posttranslational modifications in mammalian cells. It is involved in many biological pathways and molecular functions and is well suited for proteomics-based disease investigations. Aberrant protein glycosylation may be associated with disease processes. Specific glycoforms of glycoproteins may serve as potential biomarkers for the early detection of disease or as biomarkers for the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy for treatment of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. Recent technological developments, including lectin affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry, have provided researchers the ability to obtain detailed information concerning protein glycosylation. These in-depth investigations, including profiling and quantifying glycoprotein expression, as well as comprehensive glycan structural analyses may provide important information leading to the development of disease-related biomarkers. This paper describes methodologies for the detection of cancer-related glycoprotein and glycan structural alterations and briefly summarizes several current cancer-related findings.