Sequencing of oligosaccharides derivatized with benzylamine using electrospray ionization-quadrupole time of flight-tandem mass spectrometry.Electrophoresis. 2004 Jul; 25(14):2144-55.E
Oligosaccharides were derivatized by reductive amination using benzylamine and analyzed by nanoelectrospray ionization-quadrupole time of flight-tandem mass spectrometry (nanoESI-QTOF-MS/MS) in the positive ion mode. The major signals were obtained under these conditions from the [M+H]+ ions for all benzylamine-derivatized oligosaccharides. To obtain structural information from these derivatized oligosaccharides, MS/MS was applied. Protonated molecular ions underwent extensive fragmentation, even under low-energy collision-induced dissociation. MS/MS spectra of [M+H]+ ions are characterized by simple fragmentation patterns which result from cleavage of the glycosidic bonds and thus allow a straightforward interpretation. Fragmentation of the [M+H]+ ions gave predominantly B- and Y-type glycosidic fragments. A systematic study of various oligosaccharides showed that information on sugar sequence and branching could easily be obtained. Predictable and reproducible fragmentation patterns could be obtained in all cases. This derivatization procedure and mass spectrometric methodology were applied successfully to neutral and acidic glycans released from 10 microg of glycoproteins separated by gel electrophoresis. Moreover, the derivatives retain their sensitivity to exoglycosidases. Thus a series of sequential on-target exoglycosidase treatments combined with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was found to be useful for the determination of structural features of the glycans released from proteins separated by gel electrophoresis such as the monosaccharide sequence, branching pattern, and anomeric configurations of the corresponding glycosidic linkages. Our strategy can be used successfully to assign the major glycans released from proteins separated by gel electrophoresis.