Protein glycosylation is one of the most common post-translational modifications that are essential for cell function across all domains of life. Changes in glycosylation are considered a hallmark of many diseases, thus making glycoproteins important diagnostic and prognostic biomarker candidates and therapeutic targets. Glycoproteomics, the study of glycans and their carrier proteins in a system-wide context, is becoming a powerful tool in glycobiology that enables the functional analysis of protein glycosylation. This 'Hitchhiker's guide to glycoproteomics' is intended as a starting point for anyone who wants to explore the emerging world of glycoproteomics. The review moves from the techniques that have been developed for the characterisation of single glycoproteins to technologies that may be used for a successful complex glycoproteome characterisation. Examples of the variety of approaches, methodologies, and technologies currently used in the field are given. This review introduces the common strategies to capture glycoprotein-specific and system-wide glycoproteome data from tissues, body fluids, or cells, and a perspective on how integration into a multi-omics workflow enables a deep identification and characterisation of glycoproteins - a class of biomolecules essential in regulating cell function.
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- mass spectrometry