Metabolic labeling of glycans with unnatural sialic acid analogues has emerged as an invaluable tool for studying sialic acid biology. It has been showed that 9-azido-9-deoxy-N-acetylneuraminic acid (9AzNeu5Ac), a Neu5Ac analogue with the substitution of 9-hydroxyl group with an azide, could be metabolized and incorporated into sialoglycans in living cells and mice. The incorporated sialic acid analogue, 9AzNeu5Ac, enable visualization the cell-surface sialoglycans and glycoproteomic profiling by click-labeling with fluorophores and affinity tags, respectively.
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