GlycanAnalyzer: software for automated interpretation of N-glycan profiles after exoglycosidase digestions

Ian Walsh, Terry Nguyen-Khuong, Katherine Wongtrakul-Kish, Shi Jie Tay, Daniel Chew, Tasha José, Christopher H. Taron, Pauline M. Rudd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-690
Number of pages3
JournalBioinformatics (Oxford, England)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Correction published in Bioinformatics, Volume 35, Issue 17, 1 September 2019, Page 3214.


  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Glycoside Hydrolases/chemistry
  • Internet
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Polysaccharides/chemistry
  • Software


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