UNIT 12.6 Determining the Structure of Oligosaccharides N- and O-Linked to Glycoproteins

  1. Louise Royle,
  2. Raymond A. Dwek,
  3. Pauline M. Rudd

Published Online: 1 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471140864.ps1206s43

Current Protocols in Protein Science

Current Protocols in Protein Science

How to Cite

Royle, L., Dwek, R. A. and Rudd, P. M. 2006. Determining the Structure of Oligosaccharides N- and O-Linked to Glycoproteins. Current Protocols in Protein Science. 43:12.6.1–12.6.45.

Author Information

  1. University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2006
  2. Published Print: FEB 2006


Many proteins involved in biological events are glycosylated. A glycoprotein consists of a mixture of glycosylation variants of a single polypeptide chain, known as glycoforms. It has become clear that a detailed understanding of the roles which glycosylation plays in the biosynthesis, transport, biological function, and degradation of a glycoprotein can only be achieved when the protein and sugar(s) are viewed as an entity. Many glycoproteins can now be modeled by combining glycan sequencing data and oligosaccharide structural information with protein structural data. Pivotal to this approach is sensitive, state-of-the-art oligosaccharide sequencing technology which can give a rapid insight into the glycosylation of a glycoprotein without the need for sophisticated equipment and expertise. This unit gives a detailed introduction into the analysis of glycans, and the many figures will help the user identify which type of experiment needs to be undertaken. Methods for releasing glycans from glycoproteins are followed by protocols for labeling and purifying (by HPLC) the glycans from the rest of the components. Strategies for N- and O-glycan analysis are also included.