Deglycosylation Strategies

The removal of glycans from glycosylated proteins or other molecules is often a precursor to analysis of the glycan structures. For glycoproteins, both selective and nonselective glycosylation methods may be applied to determine the structure of the protein core and its glycosylation sites. The complexity of a protein population that results from glycosylation can be reduced by enzymatic or chemical deglycosylation. Enzymatic methods are relatively mild and allow removal of a selected class of glycans without protein or glycan degradation, although completeremoval of glycans often requires denaturation of the protein. Chemical deglycosylation methods are less selective than enzymatic techniques. Depending upon the method used, either the protein core or the glycans can be recovered intact without significant degradation. Removal of glycans from a glycoprotein is used:

  • To simplify analysis of the peptide portion of the glycoprotein
  • To simplify the analysis of the glycan component
  • To remove heterogeneity in glycoproteins for X-ray crystallographic analysis
  • To remove carbohydrate epitopes from antigens
  • To investigate the role of carbohydrates in enzyme activity and solubility
  • To investigate ligand binding For quality control of glycoprotein pharmaceuticals
For more information on Glycobiology please browse our online Glycobiology Analysis Manual.