Xiang Yu, Graduate Student
Mass Spectrometry Resource
Department of Biochemistry
Boston University School of Medicine
670 Albany Street, Suite 504
Boston, MA 02118
Xiang’s research focuses on the analytical method development for biological research with particular emphasis on protein and glycan characterization. Xiang’s present research projects include:
1. Deamidation and isoAspatic acid (isoAsp) characterization
IsoAsp formation can result from either asparagine (Asn) deamidation or aspartic acid (Asp) isomerization, and is associated with aging and protein misfolding diseases. Electron capture dissociation (ECD) has shown great potential in isoAsp analysis. However, traditional bottom-up approach can often lead to false positives arising from artifactual deamidation during sample preparation steps. To minimize these artifacts, a top-down and a middle-down approaches are currently being developed for isoAsp analysis.
2. Glycan structural characterization
Glycans participate in a variety of crucial cellular processes, yet a lack of effective analytical tools for detailed structural characterization of glycans, particularly linkage analysis, has hampered the study of their structure-function correlation. Electron activated dissociation (ExD) methods are a set of promising new tools for linkage analysis by producing informative cross-ring cleavages. The primary goals of this project are to develop a robust, high-throughput, high-sensitivity method for glycan structural characterization, and to further apply these techniques to more complex carbohydrates. Additionally, a mechanistic study will be carried out to better understand the glycan fragmentation behavior under ExD conditions, which are crucial for successful development of bioinformatics tools for glycan analysis.