The development of glycoproteomics techniques and technologies has made significant strides in recent years, which has led to a steady growth in the reported proteins, their associated glycans, and their glycosylation sites. However, relatively few of these reports end up in databases or other data storage systems. One of the main causes is the lack of a digital standard for representing glycoproteins and the difficult glycan annotations. Such a standard must be able to store not only single glycans but also glycoforms on a specific glycosylation site, deal with partially missing site information if no site mapping was done, and store abundances or ratios of glycans within a glycoform of a specific site, depending on the experimental method (Tsankova 2006). We created the GlycoConjugate Ontology (GlycoCoO) as a common semantic framework to characterise and represent glycoproteomics data in order to enable the aforementioned. GlycoCoO may be used as the foundation for data sharing formats and to encode glycoproteomics data in triplestores.
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