Author(s): Brooks SA
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Abstract More than half of human proteins are glycosylated by a bewildering array of complex and heterogeneous N- and O-linked glycans. They function in myriad biological processes, including cell adhesion and signalling and influence the physical characteristics, stability, function, activity and immunogenicity of soluble glycoproteins. A single protein may be glycosylated differently to yield heterogenous glycoforms. Glycosylation analysis is of increasing interest in biomedical and biological research, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry and biotechnology. This is because it is increasingly apparent that glycosylation changes in diseases, such as cancer, making it a promising target for development of clinically useful biomarkers and therapeutics. Furthermore, as the non-human cells employed in expression systems glycosylate their proteins very differently to human cells, and as glycosylation changes unpredictably under changing environmental conditions, glycans analysis for quality control, optimum efficacy and safety of recombinant glycoproteins destined for human therapeutic use is paramount. The complexities of carbohydrate chemistry make analysis challenging and while there are a variety of robust methodologies available for glycan analysis, there is currently a pressing need for the development of new, streamlined, high throughput approaches accessible to non-specialist laboratories.
This article was published in Mol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology