Clinical Glycomics Employing Graphitized Carbon Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

K. Stavenhagen, D. Kolarich, M. Wuhrer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Glycoconjugates and free glycan are involved in a variety of biological processes such as cell–cell interaction and cell trafficking. Alterations in the complex glycosylation machinery have been correlated with various pathological processes including cancer progression and metastasis. Mass Spectrometry (MS) has evolved as one of the most powerful tools in glycomics and glycoproteomics and in combination with porous graphitized carbon–liquid chromatography (PGC–LC) it is a versatile and sensitive technique for the analysis of glycans and to some extent also glycopeptides. PGC–LC–ESI–MS analysis is characterized by a high isomer separation power enabling a specific glycan compound analysis on the level of individual structures. This allows the investigation of the biological relevance of particular glycan structures and glycan features. Consequently, this strategy is a very powerful technique suitable for clinical research, such as cancer biomarker discovery, as well as in-depth analysis of recombinant glycoproteins. In this review, we will focus on how PGC in conjunction with MS detection can deliver specific structural information for clinical research on protein-bound N-glycans and mucin-type O-glycans. In addition, we will briefly review PGC analysis approaches for glycopeptides, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). The presented applications cover systems that vary vastly with regard to complexity such as purified glycoproteins, cells, tissue or body fluids revealing specific glycosylation changes associated with various biological processes including cancer and inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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