Monday, April 27, 2020

Metabolic Precision Labeling of O-GalNaC glycosylation!

Glycoproteomics is rapidly massively evolving right now, everyone. It seems like every week some reason that makes glycoproteomics an awful and terrible thing to do with your life is solved -- or, at least, mitigated...

Next addition? Selective labeling of O-GalNac! 

Sound boring?

It is until you remember the best part about glycans in mass spectrometry! All the stupid sugars have the same stupid masses!

Is it a serine GlcNac? Or a serine GalNac? I dunno. It has the same exact stupid mass. If you really try with optimizing the fragmentation, the distribution between the fragment ions will look a little different. Fortunately, which one it is doesn't matter to biological systems!

Living systems can be annoyingly particular about what sugar isomer is where! And with this system, I don't totally understand, you can selectively label O-GalNacs and tell them apart, not only with mass spectrometry, but also with microscopy!

I don't have to understand the labeling methodology to get that this is a potential game changer that can light up big questions in biology!  I'm so confident of that fact that I only skimmed that part of the paper.

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