• Analytical biotechnology;
  • Carbohydrates;
  • Chromatography;
  • Mass spectrometry;
  • Recombinant proteins


Biopharmaceuticals currently represent the fastest growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry, mainly driven by a rapid expansion in the manufacture of recombinant protein-based drugs. Glycosylation is the most prominent post-translational modification occurring on these protein drugs. It constitutes one of the critical quality attributes that requires thorough analysis for optimal efficacy and safety. This review examines the functional importance of glycosylation of recombinant protein drugs, illustrated using three examples of protein biopharmaceuticals: IgG antibodies, erythropoietin and glucocerebrosidase. Current analytical methods are reviewed as solutions for qualitative and quantitative measurements of glycosylation to monitor quality target product profiles of recombinant glycoprotein drugs. Finally, we propose a framework for designing the quality target product profile of recombinant glycoproteins and planning workflow for glycosylation analysis with the selection of available analytical methods and tools.