Towards structure-focused glycoproteomics

Anastasia Chernykh, Rebeca Kawahara, Morten Thaysen-Andersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Facilitated by advances in the separation sciences, mass spectrometry and informatics, glycoproteomics, the analysis of intact glycopeptides at scale, has recently matured enabling new insights into the complex glycoproteome. While diverse quantitative glycoproteomics strategies capable of mapping monosaccharide compositions of N- and O-linked glycans to discrete sites of proteins within complex biological mixtures with considerable sensitivity, quantitative accuracy and coverage have become available, developments supporting the advancement of structure-focused glycoproteomics, a recognised frontier in the field, have emerged. Technologies capable of providing site-specific information of the glycan fine structures in a glycoproteome-wide context are indeed necessary to address many pending questions in glycobiology. In this review, we firstly survey the latest glycoproteomics studies published in 2018-2020, their approaches and their findings, and then summarise important technological innovations in structure-focused glycoproteomics. Our review illustrates that while the O-glycoproteome remains comparably under-explored despite the emergence of new O-glycan-selective mucinases and other innovative tools aiding O-glycoproteome profiling, quantitative glycoproteomics is increasingly used to profile the N-glycoproteome to tackle diverse biological questions. Excitingly, new strategies compatible with structure-focused glycoproteomics including novel chemoenzymatic labelling, enrichment, separation, and mass spectrometry-based detection methods are rapidly emerging revealing glycan fine structural details including bisecting GlcNAcylation, core and antenna fucosylation, and sialyl-linkage information with protein site resolution. Glycoproteomics has clearly become a mainstay within the glycosciences that continues to reach a broader community. It transpires that structure-focused glycoproteomics holds a considerable potential to aid our understanding of systems glycobiology and unlock secrets of the glycoproteome in the immediate future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-186
Number of pages26
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. 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.


  • glycopeptide
  • glycoproteins
  • glycoproteomics
  • glycosylation
  • LC-MS/MS
  • mass spectrometry


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