Introduction: Though eukaryotic glycoproteins have been studied since their discovery in the 1930s, the first bacterial glycoprotein was not identified until the 1970s. As a result, their role in bacterial pathogenesis is still not well understood and they remain an understudied component of bacterial virulence. In recent years, mass spectrometry has emerged as a leading technology for the study of bacterial glycoproteins, largely due to its sensitivity and versatility. Areas covered: Identification and comprehensive characterization of bacterial glycoproteins usually requires multiple complementary mass spectrometry approaches, including intact protein analysis, top-down analysis, and bottom-up methods used in combination with specialized liquid chromatography. This review provides an overview of liquid chromatography separation technologies, as well as current and emerging mass spectrometry approaches used specifically for bacterial glycoprotein identification and characterization. Expert commentary: Bacterial glycoproteins may have significant clinical utility as a result of their unique structures and exposure on the surface of the cells. Better understanding of these glycoconjugates is an essential first step towards that goal. These often unique structures, and by extension the key enzymes involved in their synthesis, represent promising targets for novel antimicrobials, while unique carbohydrate structures may be used as antigens in vaccines or as biomarkers.

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Keywords antimicrobials, bacterial glycoprotein, glycan, glycopeptide, glycoprotein, host-pathogen interactions, liquid chromatography, Mass spectrometry, vaccines
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Journal Expert Review of Proteomics
Fulton, K.M. (Kelly M.), Li, J. (Jianjun), Tomas, J.M. (Juan M.), Smith, J. C, & Twine, S.M. (Susan M.). (2018). Characterizing bacterial glycoproteins with LC-MS. Expert Review of Proteomics (Vol. 15, pp. 203–216). doi:10.1080/14789450.2018.1435276