, 9:351 | Cite as

N-Glycan profiling in the study of human aging

  • Valerie Vanhooren
  • Wouter Laroy
  • Claude Libert
  • Cuiying ChenEmail author


Most secreted proteins produced by the human body are modified by glycosylation. It is well known that the oligosaccharides (glycans) of glycoproteins are important for initiation of various cellular recognition signals that are essential for the maintenance of the ordered social life of each cell within a multi-cellular organism. The sugar chains can be altered by the physiological or pathophysiological condition of the cell. We describe a detailed protocol for the analysis of N-linked glycans in blood via DNA sequencing equipment-Fluorophore Assisted Carbohydrate Electrophoresis (DSA-FACE). The key features of this technique are its robustness, high throughput, high sensitivity and reliable quantification. Based on DSA-FACE technology, we previously reported that N-glycan profiling of the human serum shows substantial changes with increasing age in three major N-glycan structures. We proposed that measurement of the N-glycan level changes could provide a surrogate marker for general health or for age-related disease progression, and for monitoring the improvement of health after therapy.


Glycosylation N-glycan Aging Biomarker DSA-FACE 



DNA Sequencer Assisted (DSA)-Fluorophore-Assisted Carbohydrate Electrophoresis (FACE)

PNGase F

Peptide N-Glycosidase F


8-Amino-1,3,6-PyreneTriSulfonic acid




Capillary Electrophoresis


Mass spectrometry


High-performance liquid chromatography


High-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection


Agalactosylated, core-α-1,6-fucosylated biantennary glycan


Agalactosylated, core-α-1,6-fucosylated bisecting biantennary glycan


Bigalactosylated, core-α-1,6-fucosylated biantennary glycan



We thank Dr. Amin Bredan for editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Vanhooren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wouter Laroy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claude Libert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cuiying Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department for Molecular Biomedical ResearchVIBGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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