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Received February 11, 2013; Revision received March 13, 2013
Powerful new strategies based on mass spectrometry are revolutionizing the structural analysis and profiling of glycans and glycoconjugates. We survey here the major biosynthetic pathways that underlie the biological diversity in glycobiology, with emphasis on glycoproteins, and the approaches that can be used to address the resulting heterogeneity. Included among these are derivatizations, on- and off-line chromatography, electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, and a variety of dissociation methods, the recently introduced electron-based techniques being of particular interest.
KEY WORDS: mass spectrometry, MS/MS, glycobiology, structural determinations, biosynthesis, chromatography, derivatives