Protein O-glycosylation analysis

Biol Chem. 2012 Aug;393(8):687-708. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0144.


This review provides an overview on the methods available for analysis of O-glycosylation. Three major themes are addressed: analysis of released O-glycans including different O-glycan liberation, derivatization, and detection methods; analysis of formerly O-glycosylated peptides yielding information on O-glycan attachment sites; analysis of O-glycopeptides, representing by far the most informative but also most challenging approach for O-glycan analysis. Although there are various techniques available for the identification of O-linked oligosaccharides, the focus here is on MS fragmentation techniques such as collision-induced fragmentation, electron capture dissociation, and electron transfer dissociation. Finally, the O-glycan analytical challenges that need to be met will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Glycopeptides / chemistry*
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polysaccharides / analysis*


  • Glycopeptides
  • Glycoproteins
  • Polysaccharides