Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 78, Issue 7, pp 710–720 | Cite as

Mass spectrometry of glycans

  • Liang Han
  • Catherine E. CostelloEmail author


Powerful new strategies based on mass spectrometry are revolutionizing the structural analysis and profiling of glycans and glycoconjugates. We survey here the major biosynthetic pathways that underlie the biological diversity in glycobiology, with emphasis on glycoproteins, and the approaches that can be used to address the resulting heterogeneity. Included among these are derivatizations, on- and off-line chromatography, electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, and a variety of dissociation methods, the recently introduced electron-based techniques being of particular interest.

Key words

mass spectrometry MS/MS glycobiology structural determinations biosynthesis chromatography derivatives 



collision-induced dissociation


electron capture dissociation


electron detachment dissociation


electronic excitation dissociation


endoplasmic reticulum


electrospray ionization


electron transfer dissociation


Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance


gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry


high-performance liquid chromatography


ion mobility-mass spectrometry


liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry


matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization


matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight


mass spectrometry


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Biomedical Mass SpectrometryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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