Affiliation: 1University Station, A5300,Austin, TX 78712-0265, USA.
Cell surface glycoconjugates control a variety of biological events including cell differentiation, homing to specific tissues, cell adhesion, virus/cell recognition and immunological recognition. The heterogeneity and diversity of these molecules present a challenge to understanding both their functions and how those functions are encoded. Advances in biotechnology have led to new methods for genome and proteome study that allow for the analysis of the entire genetic or protein content of a cell. Efforts towards the systematic study of the variations in cellular glycoconjugates are, in contrast, in their infancy. Recent advances in glycosylation related technology have begun to open up the possibility of exploring both the structure and the functions of the glycome in a systematic manner. This review focuses on the latest mass spectrometry, microarray-based and computational technologies for glycomics.