SUMMARY: Many eukaryotic proteins are modified by N-glycans. Liquid chromatography (ultra-performance -UPLC and high-performance-HPLC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) is conventionally used to characterize N-glycan structures. Software can automatically assign glycan structures by matching their observed retention times and masses with standardized values in reference databases. However, more precise confirmation of N-glycan structures can be derived using exoglycosidases, enzymes that remove specific monosaccharides from glycans. Exoglycosidase removal of monosaccharides results in signature peak shifts, in both UPLC and MS1, yielding an effective way to verify N-glycan structure with high detail (down to the position and isomeric linkage of each monosaccharide). Because manual interpretation of exoglycosidase data is complex and time consuming, we developed GlycanAnalyzer, a web application that pattern matches N-glycan peak shifts following exoglycosidase digestion and automates structure assignments. GlycanAnalyzer significantly improves assignment accuracy over other auto-assignment methods on tests with a monoclonal antibody and four glycan standards (100% versus 82% for the next best software). By automating data interpretation, GlycanAnalyzer enables the easier use of exoglycosidases to precisely define N-glycan structure.
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Correction published in Bioinformatics, Volume 35, Issue 17, 1 September 2019, Page 3214.
- Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
- Glycoside Hydrolases/chemistry
- Mass Spectrometry