FAQ: How many different glycans could a single protein have?

Some proteins have only one glycan site (for instance, RNAseB). Some proteins carry several N- and O-glycans (for instance, Fetuin, which has three N-glycans and three O-glycans). Other have multiple glycans that completely cover the protein backbone (for instance, mucins). At any given N- or O-glycosylation site, one could find different glycoforms. Some cells (depending on the organism or tissue) will have the potential to generate a great variety of glycans (longer, more branched). Other cells will generate a more homogeneous glycosylation pattern in proteins.