This review provides an overview on the methods available for analysis of O-glycosylation. Three major themes are addressed: analysis of released O-glycans including different O-glycan liberation, derivatization, and detection methods; analysis of formerly O-glycosylated peptides yielding information on O-glycan attachment sites; analysis of O-glycopeptides, representing by far the most informative but also most challenging approach for O-glycan analysis. Although there are various techniques available for the identification of O-linked oligosaccharides, the focus here is on MS fragmentation techniques such as collision-induced fragmentation, electron capture dissociation, and electron transfer dissociation. Finally, the O-glycan analytical challenges that need to be met will be discussed.
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