Glycan AnalysisWith the buzz around our new column for glycan analysis (Thermo Scientific GlycanPac AXH-1 column) by HPLC, UHPLC, or LC-MS and blogged here: Glycan Analysis by HPLC, LC-MS, and More (Part I), I decided to attend a webinar called Glycan Analysis, An Expert Overview of Glycomics Techniques & Workflow Strategies. I was hoping that the webinar would highlight a new glycan column, but it soon became apparent that the column was too new to be included. Still, I thought the webinar was fabulous. This webinar is hosted by Wiley’s Current Protocols and sponsored by Thermo Scientific.

The first half of the webinar was presented by Dr. Lara Mahal from New York University, who gave an overview of the complexities of glycomics, the major role they play in biology and disease, and the vast array of glycans that exist. Then after reviewing cleavage methods, Dr. Mahal touched on four techniques used to analyze glycans: capillary electrophoresis, HPLC, mass spectrometry, and lectin microarrays. The microarray part was interesting and Dr. Mahal seemed to have a preference for this technique. Many of the examples presented in this part of the webinar were published in New Technologies for Glycomic Analysis: Toward a Systematic Understanding of the Glycome (lPubMed abstract of article by Rakus J.F and Mahal L.K. in Annu Rev Anal Chem. 2011. 4:367-92). I also wanted to share this glossary of glycan analysis techniques (links to a chart in the Essentials of Glycobiology book provided below) which is very comprehensive list of techniques for glycan analysis.

The second half of the webinar, presented by Dr. Anne Dell, Imperial College of London, was equally impressive. She presented glycomic analysis by mass spectrometry (MS), but you’ll have to attend the webinar to find out more. You can also go to Planet Orbitrap webpage which has great resources for glycan analysis by MS.

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Here’s another great resource you may want to know about: The Essentials of Glycobiology, 2nd edition, is a 51-chapter book that’s totally accessible on-line. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press in 2009, it was edited by Ajit Varki, Richard D Cummings, Jeffrey D Esko, Hudson H Freeze, Pamela Stanley, Carolyn R Bertozzi, Gerald W Hart, and Marilynn E Etzler. Enjoy!

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