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Anal Chem. 2005 Oct 1;77(19):6271-9.

Congruent strategies for carbohydrate sequencing. 3. OSCAR: an algorithm for assigning oligosaccharide topology from MSn data.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.


This is the third in a sequence of reports devoted to the development of congruent strategies for carbohydrate sequencing. Two previous reports outlined the strategies for observing structural detail from MSn data and introduced tools that compile, search, and compare fragment spectra in a bottom-up approach to oligosaccharide sequencing. In this third report, we introduce the operational details of an algorithm that we define as the Oligosaccharide Subtree Constraint Algorithm (OSCAR). This algorithm assimilates analyst-selected MSn ion fragmentation pathways into oligosaccharide topology (branching and linkage) using what may be considered a top-down sequencing strategy. Guided by a series of logical constraints, this de novo algorithm provides molecular topology without presumed biosynthetic constraints or external comparisons. In this introductory study, OSCAR is applied to a series of permethylated oligomers and isomeric glycans, and topologies are assigned in a few hundredths of a second.

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