Date: 14 Apr 2011

Electron Transfer Dissociation of Milk Oligosaccharides


For structural identification of glycans, the classic collision-induced dissociation (CID) spectra are dominated by product ions that derived from glycosidic cleavages, which provide only sequence information. The peaks from cross-ring fragmentation are often absent or have very low abundances in such spectra. Electron transfer dissociation (ETD) is being applied to structural identification of carbohydrates for the first time, and results in some new and detailed information for glycan structural studies. A series of linear milk sugars was analyzed by a variety of fragmentation techniques such as MS/MS by CID and ETD, and MS3 by sequential CID/CID, CID/ETD, and ETD/CID. In CID spectra, the detected peaks were mainly generated via glycosidic cleavages. By comparison, ETD generated various types of abundant cross-ring cleavage ions. These complementary cross-ring cleavages clarified the different linkage types and branching patterns of the representative milk sugar samples. The utilization of different MS3 techniques made it possible to verify initial assignments and to detect the presence of multiple components in isobaric peaks. Fragment ion structures and pathways could be proposed to facilitate the interpretation of carbohydrate ETD spectra, and the main mechanisms were investigated. ETD should contribute substantially to confident structural analysis of a wide variety of oligosaccharides.