Structure elucidation of native N- and O-linked glycans by tandem mass spectrometry (tutorial)

Hyun Joo An, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Oligosaccharides play important roles in many biological processes. However, the structural elucidation of oligosaccharides remains a major challenge due to the complexities of their structures. Mass spectrometry provides a powerful method for determining oligosaccharide composition. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS) provides structural information with high sensitivity. Oligosaccharide structures differ from other polymers such as peptides because of the large number of linkage combinations and branching. This complexity makes the analysis of oligosaccharide unique from that of peptides. This tutorial addresses the issue of spectral interpretation of tandem MS under conditions of collision-induced dissociation (CID) and infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD). The proper interpretation of tandem MS data can provide important structural information on different types of oligosaccharides including O- and N-linked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-578
Number of pages19
JournalMass Spectrometry Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • CID
  • N-glycan
  • O-glycan
  • structure
  • tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structure elucidation of native N- and O-linked glycans by tandem mass spectrometry (tutorial)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this