Branching pattern and sequence analysis of underivatized oligosaccharides by combined MS/MS of singly and doubly charged molecular ions in negative-ion electrospray mass spectrometry

  • Wengang Chai
  • Alexander M. Lawson
  • Vladimir Piskarev


We previously reported that sequence and partial linkage information, including chain and blood-group types, of reducing oligosaccharides can be obtained from negative-ion electros-pray CID MS/MS on a quadrupole-orthogonal time-of-flight instrument with high sensitivity and without derivatization (Chai, W.; Piskarev, V.; Lawson, A. M. Anal. Chem. 2001, 73, 651–657). In contrast to oligonucleotides and peptides, oligosaccharides can form branched structures that result in a greater degree of structural complexity. In the present work we apply negative-ion electrospray CID MS/MS to core-branching pattern analysis using nine 3,6-branched and variously fucosylated oligosaccharides based on hexasaccharide backbones LNH/LNnH as examples. The important features of the method are the combined use of CID MS/MS of singly and doubly charged molecular ions of underivatized oligosaccharides to deduce the branching pattern and to assign the structural details of each of the 3- and 6-branches. These spectra give complimentary structural information. In the spectra of [M -H], fragment ions from the 6-linked branch are dominant and those from the 3-linked branch are absent, while fragment ions from both branches occur in the spectra of [M - 2H]2−. This allows the distinction of fragment ions derived from either the 3- or 6-branches. In addition, a unique D2β-3 ion, arising from double D-type cleavage at the 3-linked glycosidic bond of the branched Gal core residue, provides direct evidence of the branching pattern with sequence and partial linkage information being derived from C- and A-type fragmentations, respectively.


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wengang Chai
    • 1
  • Alexander M. Lawson
    • 1
  • Vladimir Piskarev
    • 2
  1. 1.MRC Glycosciences LaboratoryImperial College School of Medicine, Northwick Park HospitalHarrowUK
  2. 2.Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement CompoundsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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