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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2001 Aug;12(8):926-37.

Ionization and collision-induced fragmentation of N-linked and related carbohydrates using divalent cations.

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Depart of Biochemistry, Oxford Glycobiology Institute, UK.


Maltoheptaose and several N-linked glycans were ionized by electrospray as adducts with the divalent cations Mg2+, Ca2+, Mn2+, Co2+ and Cu2+. [M + metal]2+ ions were the major species in all cases with calcium giving the highest sensitivity. In addition, copper gave [M + Cu]+ ions. Other cations gave singly charged ions only by elimination of a protonated monosaccharide. Fragmentation of the [M + metal]2+ ions produced both singly and doubly charged ions with the relative abundance of doubly charged ions decreasing in the order Ca > Mg > Mn > Co > Cu. Singly charged ions were formed by elimination of a protonated monosaccharide residue followed, either by successive monosaccharide residue losses, or by a 2,4A cross-ring cleavage of the reducing-terminal monosaccharide. Formation of doubly charged fragments from [M + metal]2+ ions involved successive monosaccharide-residue losses either with or without O,2A or 2,4A cross-ring cleavages of the reducing-terminal monosaccharide. Abundant diagnostic doubly charged ions formed by loss of the 3-antenna from the O,2A cross-ring product were specific to [M + Ca]2+ ions. Fragmentation of [M + Cu]+ ions was similar to that of the corresponding [M + H]+ ions in that most cross-ring fragments were absent.

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