Mass spectrometry for protein sialoglycosylation

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Dec 11, 2017
  • Author: Qiwei Zhang, Zack Li, Yawei Wang, Qi Zheng, Jianjun Li
  • Journal: Mass Spectrometry Reviews

Sialic acids are a family of structurally unique and negatively charged nine‐carbon sugars, normally found at the terminal positions of glycan chains on glycoproteins and glycolipids. The glycosylation of proteins is a universal post‐translational modification in eukaryotic species and regulates essential biological functions, in which the most common sialic acid is N‐acetyl‐neuraminic acid (2‐keto‐5‐acetamido‐3,5‐dideoxy‐D‐glycero‐D‐galactononulopyranos‐1‐onic acid) (Neu5NAc). Because of the properties of sialic acids under general mass spectrometry (MS) conditions, such as instability, ionization discrimination, and mixed adducts, the use of MS in the analysis of protein sialoglycosylation is still challenging. The present review is focused on the application of MS related methodologies to the study of both N‐ and O‐linked sialoglycans. We reviewed MS‐based strategies for characterizing sialylation by analyzing intact glycoproteins, proteolytic digested glycopeptides, and released glycans. The review concludes with future perspectives in the field.

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