, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1602-1609
Date: 01 Jun 2011

Biologically-Inspired Peptide Reagents for Enhancing IMS-MS Analysis of Carbohydrates


The binding properties of a peptidoglycan recognition protein are translated via combinatorial chemistry into short peptides. Non-adjacent histidine, tyrosine, and arginine residues in the protein’s binding cleft that associate specifically with the glycan moiety of a peptidoglycan substrate are incorporated into linear sequences creating a library of 27 candidate tripeptide reagents (three possible residues permutated across three positions). Upon electrospraying the peptide library and carbohydrate mixtures, some noncovalent complexes are observed. The binding efficiencies of the peptides vary according to their amino acid composition as well as the disaccharide linkage and carbohydrate ring-type. In addition to providing a charge-carrier for the carbohydrate, peptide reagents can also be used to differentiate carbohydrate isomers by ion mobility spectrometry. The utility of these peptide reagents as a means of enhancing ion mobility analysis of carbohydrates is illustrated by examining four glucose-containing disaccharide isomers, including a pair that is not resolved by ion mobility alone. The specificity and stoichiometry of the peptide–carbohydrate complexes are also investigated. Trihistidine demonstrates both suitable binding efficiency and successful resolution of disaccharides isomers, suggesting it may be a useful reagent in IMS analyses of carbohydrates.