Structural characterization of fucose-containing oligosaccharides by high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.Biol Chem. 2001 Feb; 382(2):251-7.BC
Eight pyridylamino (PA) derivatives of fucose-containing oligosaccharides, which occur as free oligosaccharides in human milk and also are derived from glycosphingolipids, have been analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on normal-phase and reversed-phase columns, and by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Six out of eight PA-oligosaccharides were clearly separated by both normal- and reversed-phase HPLC at a column temperature of 40 degrees C, but two PA-oligosaccharides, lacto-N-fucopentaose II [Gal beta1-3(Fuc alpha1-4)GlcNAc beta1-3Gal beta1-4GIcPA] and lacto-N-fucopentaose III [Gal beta1-4(Fuc alpha1-3)GlcNAc beta1-3Gal beta1-4GIcPA], were not separated. The two unresolved PA-oligosaccharides were finally separated by reversed-phase HPLC at a column temperature of 11 degrees C. MALDI-TOF mass spectra of PA-oligosaccharides demonstrated pseudo-molecular ions as the predominant signals, therefore information about the molecular mass of each PA-oligosaccharide was easily obtained. Post-source decay (PSD) MALDI-TOF mass spectra of PA-oligosaccharides gave information about the carbohydrate sequences and carbohydrate species of each PA-oligosaccharide by detecting the ions responsible for the cleavage of the glycosidic bonds. The detection limits of the PA-oligosaccharides by HPLC, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and PSD MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were 20 fmol, 20 fmol, and 2 pmol, respectively. These results suggest that a system including HPLC and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry or HPLC and PSD MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is quite useful for the structural characterization of sub-pmol or pmol levels of fucose-containing oligosaccharides, and that these methods could be used for the analysis of various types of oligosaccharides derived from glycoproteins and glycosphingolipids.