N-linked glycoproteins play important roles in biological processes, including cell-to-cell recognition, growth, differentiation, and programmed cell death. Specific N-linked glycoprotein changes are associated with disease progression and identification of these N-linked glycoproteins has potential for use in disease diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of treatments. In this review, we summarize common strategies for N-linked glycoprotein characterization and applications of these strategies to identification of glycoprotein changes associated with disease states. We also review the N-linked glycoproteins altered in diseases such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Although assays for these glycoproteins have potential clinical utility, research is needed to translate these glycoproteins to clinical biomarkers.
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