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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Capillary electrophoresis/electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry for the analysis of negatively charged derivatized and underivatized glycans.

The increasing interest in the development of glycoproteins for therapeutic purposes has created a greater demand for methods to characterize the sugar moieties bound to them. Traditionally, released carbohydrates are derivatized using such methods as permethylation or fluorescent tagging prior to analysis by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis (CE), or direct infusion mass spectrometry. However, little research has been performed using CE with on-line mass spectrometry (MS) detection. The CE separation of neutral oligosaccharides requires the covalent attachment of a charged species for electrophoretic migration. Among charged labels which have shown promise in assisting CE and HPLC separation is the fluorophore 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid (ANTS). This report describes the qualitative profiling of charged ANTS-derivatized and underivatized complex glycans by CE with on-line electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry. Several neutral standard glycans including a maltooligosaccharide ladder were derivatized with ANTS and subjected to CE/UV and CE/MS using low pH buffers consisting of citric and 6-aminocaproic acid salts. The ANTS-derivatized species were detected as negative ions, and multiple stage MS analysis provided valuable structural information. Fragment ions were easily identified, showing promise for the identification of unknowns. N-Linked glycans released from bovine fetuin were used to demonstrate the applicability of ANTS derivatization followed by CE/MS for the analysis of negatively charged glycans. Analyses were performed on both underivatized and ANTS-derivatized species, and sialylated glycans were separated and detected in both forms. The ability of the ion trap mass spectrometer to perform multiple stage analysis was exploited, with MS5 information obtained on selected glycans. This technique presents a complementary method to existing methodologies for the profiling of glycan mixtures.[1]


  1. Capillary electrophoresis/electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry for the analysis of negatively charged derivatized and underivatized glycans. Gennaro, L.A., Delaney, J., Vouros, P., Harvey, D.J., Domon, B. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. (2002) [Pubmed]
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