N-glycans are key players mediating cell–cell communication in the immune system, interacting with glycan-binding proteins. In the present article, we discuss key themes that are emerging from the structural analysis of complex-type N-linked glycans from human and murine immune cell lines, employing high-sensitivity MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization)–TOF (time-of-flight) MS technology. Particular focus is given to terminal epitopes, the abundance of multiply branched N-glycans and how glycosylation can affect human health in diseases such as congenital neutropenia and glycogen storage disease.

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