Discovery of glycosyltransferases using carbohydrate arrays and mass spectrometry

Lan Ban, Nicholas Pettit, Lei Li, Andreea D. Stuparu, Li Cai, Wenlan Chen, Wanyi Guan, Weiqing Han, Peng George Wang*, Milan Mrksich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Glycosyltransferases catalyze the reaction between an activated sugar donor and an acceptor to form a new glycosidic linkage. Glycosyltransferases are responsible for the assembly of oligosaccharides in vivo and are also important for the in vitro synthesis of these biomolecules. However, the functional identification and characterization of new glycosyltransferases is difficult and tedious. This paper describes an approach that combines arrays of reactions on an immobilized array of acceptors with an analysis by mass spectrometry to screen putative glycosyltransferases. A total of 14,280 combinations of a glycosyltransferase, an acceptor and a donor in four buffer conditions were screened, leading to the identification and characterization of four new glycosyltransferases. This work is notable because it provides a label-free method for the rapid functional annotation of putative enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-773
Number of pages5
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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