Glycoproteins: a consideration of the potential problems and their solutions with respect to purification and characterisation

Bioseparation. 1996 Feb;6(1):1-15.


Glycoproteins, as a class of biomolecules, present a number of differences in structure and function from non-glycosylated proteins. This makes their purification and characterisation a potentially daunting prospect. This article provides a brief summary of the occurrence, structure and composition of glycoproteins and the main areas where these factors may complicate the purification and characterisation process. There follows a review of the range of techniques available, an insight into the choices of ways forward in considering glycoprotein purification and characterisation. Appropriate prominence is given to lectins; their application to the purification, identification and characterisation of glycoproteins, and the major contribution they have made to the study of this class of biomolecules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Centrifugation, Density Gradient / methods
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Chromatography, Affinity / methods
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification*
  • Lectins / chemistry
  • Lectins / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Molecular Weight


  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins