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J Proteome Res. 2008 Mar;7(3):1109-17. doi: 10.1021/pr700702r. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

Profiling of human serum glycans associated with liver cancer and cirrhosis by IMS-MS.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.


Aberrant glycosylation of human glycoproteins is related to various physiological states, including the onset of diseases such as cancer. Consequently, the search for glycans that could be markers of diseases or targets of therapeutic drugs has been intensive. Here, we describe a high-throughput ion mobility spectrometry/mass spectrometry analysis of N-linked glycans from human serum. Distributions of glycans are assigned according to their m/z values, while ion mobility distributions provide information about glycan conformational and isomeric composition. Statistical analysis of data from 22 apparently healthy control patients and 39 individuals with known diseases (20 with cirrhosis of the liver and 19 with liver cancer) shows that ion mobility distributions for individual m/z ions appear to be sufficient to distinguish patients with liver cancer or cirrhosis. Measurements of glycan conformational and isomeric distributions by IMS-MS may provide insight that is valuable for detecting and characterizing disease states.

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