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LC-MS(n) analysis of isomeric chondroitin sulfate oligosaccharides using a chemical derivatization strategy

LC-MS(n) analysis of isomeric chondroitin sulfate oligosaccharides using a chemical derivatization strategy

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 22(9): 1577-1587

Improved methods for structural analyses of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are required to understand their functional roles in various biological processes. Major challenges in structural characterization of complex GAG oligosaccharides using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) include the accurate determination of the patterns of sulfation due to gas-phase losses of the sulfate groups upon collisional activation and inefficient on-line separation of positional sulfation isomers prior to MS/MS analyses. Here, a sequential chemical derivatization procedure including permethylation, desulfation, and acetylation was demonstrated to enable both on-line LC separation of isomeric mixtures of chondroitin sulfate (CS) oligosaccharides and accurate determination of sites of sulfation by MS(n). The derivatized oligosaccharides have sulfate groups replaced with acetyl groups, which are sufficiently stable to survive MS(n) fragmentation and reflect the original sulfation patterns. A standard reversed-phase LC-MS system with a capillary C18 column was used for separation, and MS(n) experiments using collision-induced dissociation (CID) were performed. Our results indicate that the combination of this derivatization strategy and MS(n) methodology enables accurate identification of the sulfation isomers of CS hexasaccharides with either saturated or unsaturated nonreducing ends. Moreover, derivatized CS hexasaccharide isomer mixtures become separable by LC-MS method due to different positions of acetyl modifications.

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Accession: 054055339

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PMID: 21953261

DOI: 10.1007/s13361-011-0174-0

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