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Mass Spectrom Rev. 2012 Mar-Apr;31(2):183-311. doi: 10.1002/mas.20333. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Analysis of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry: an update for 2007-2008.

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Oxford Glycobiology Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.


This review is the fifth update of the original review, published in 1999, on the application of MALDI mass spectrometry to the analysis of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates and brings coverage of the literature to the end of 2008. The first section of the review covers fundamental studies, fragmentation of carbohydrate ions, use of derivatives and new software developments for analysis of carbohydrate spectra. Among newer areas of method development are glycan arrays, MALDI imaging and the use of ion mobility spectrometry. The second section of the review discusses applications of MALDI MS to the analysis of different types of carbohydrate. Specific compound classes that are covered include carbohydrate polymers from plants, N- and O-linked glycans from glycoproteins, biopharmaceuticals, glycated proteins, glycolipids, glycosides and various other natural products. There is a short section on the use of MALDI mass spectrometry for the study of enzymes involved in glycan processing and a section on the use of MALDI MS to monitor products of the chemical synthesis of carbohydrates with emphasis on carbohydrate-protein complexes and glycodendrimers. Corresponding analyses by electrospray ionization now appear to outnumber those performed by MALDI and the amount of literature makes a comprehensive review on this technique impractical. However, most of the work relating to sample preparation and glycan synthesis is equally relevant to electrospray and, consequently, those proposing analyses by electrospray should also find material in this review of interest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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