Recent Advances in Analytical Approaches for Glycan and Glycopeptide Quantitation

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021:20:100054. doi: 10.1074/mcp.R120.002095. Epub 2021 Feb 20.


Growing implications of glycosylation in physiological occurrences and human disease have prompted intensive focus on revealing glycomic perturbations through absolute and relative quantification. Empowered by seminal methodologies and increasing capacity for detection, identification, and characterization, the past decade has provided a significant increase in the number of suitable strategies for glycan and glycopeptide quantification. Mass-spectrometry-based strategies for glycomic quantitation have grown to include metabolic incorporation of stable isotopes, deposition of mass difference and mass defect isotopic labels, and isobaric chemical labeling, providing researchers with ample tools for accurate and robust quantitation. Beyond this, workflows have been designed to harness instrument capability for label-free quantification, and numerous software packages have been developed to facilitate reliable spectrum scoring. In this review, we present and highlight the most recent advances in chemical labeling and associated techniques for glycan and glycopeptide quantification.

Keywords: chemical labeling; glycan; glycopeptide; glycosylation; isobaric labeling; isotopic labeling; mass spectrometry; metabolic labeling; posttranslational modification; quantitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glycomics / methods*
  • Glycopeptides / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Polysaccharides / analysis*


  • Glycopeptides
  • Polysaccharides