Glycan Labeling

In contrast to proteins and peptides, glycans do not absorb ultraviolet (UV) light strongly, thereby giving a weak detector signal even at 214nm. Furthermore, as glycans with various different structures may be present in minute amounts in glycoprotein hydrolysates, their detection by UV absorbance may not be practical. As a result a wide range of alternative techniques have been developed for detection of glycans. Instead of the UV detectors typically used for on-line HPLC systems, refractive index and pulsed amperometric detectors, with sensitivity in the range of 10 to 100 pmol, have enabled improved detection of native mono- and oligosaccharides. Another approach to improve glycan detection is radioisotopic labeling, but this technique is not widely used due to the safety and regulatory requirements for the handling of radiolabeled substances.

For more information on Glycan Labeling please browse our online Glycobiology Analysis Manual.