Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 15–29 | Cite as

Building a PGC-LC-MS N-glycan retention library and elution mapping resource

  • Jodie L. Abrahams
  • Matthew P. Campbell
  • Nicolle H. PackerEmail author
Original Article


Porous graphitised carbon-liquid chromatography (PGC-LC) has been proven to be a powerful technique for the analysis and characterisation of complex mixtures of isomeric and isobaric glycan structures. Here we evaluate the elution behaviour of N-glycans on PGC-LC and thereby provide the potential of using chromatographic separation properties, together with mass spectrometry (MS) fragmentation, to determine glycan structure assignments more easily. We used previously reported N-glycan structures released from the purified glycoproteins Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Immunoglobulin A (IgA), lactoferrin, α1-acid glycoprotein, Ribonuclease B (RNase B), fetuin and ovalbumin to profile their behaviour on capillary PGC-LC-MS. Over 100 glycan structures were determined by MS/MS, and together with targeted exoglycosidase digestions, created a N-glycan PGC retention library covering a full spectrum of biologically significant N-glycans from pauci mannose to sialylated tetra-antennary classes. The resultant PGC retention library ( incorporates retention times and supporting fragmentation spectra including exoglycosidase digestion products, and provides detailed knowledge on the elution properties of N-glycans by PGC-LC. Consequently, this platform should serve as a valuable resource for facilitating the detailed analysis of the glycosylation of both purified recombinant, and complex mixtures of, glycoproteins using established workflows.


N-glycan Glycoprotein Porous graphitised carbon Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry 



This study was supported by the Macquarie University Research Excellence Scheme postgraduate scholarship, the Northern Translational Cancer Research Unit through a Cancer Institute NSW competitive student grant, and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (NeCTAR RT016). This research project was facilitated by access to the Australian Proteomics Analysis Facility (APAF) established under the Australian Government’s NCRIS program. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Sophie Zhao, Dr. Ian Walsh and Prof. Pauline Rudd (Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore) for supporting the development of GlycoStore.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10719_2017_9793_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (476 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 475 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodie L. Abrahams
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew P. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicolle H. Packer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science & EngineeringMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for GlycomicsGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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