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Anal Chem. 2001 Nov 15;73(22):5422-8.

Specific distribution of sialic acids in animal tissues as examined by LC-ESI-MS after derivatization with 1,2-diamino-4,5-methylenedioxybenzene.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kinki University, Higashi-osaka, Japan.


Simultaneous analysis of sialic acids has been a challenging target, because sialic acids having N- or O-acetyl, glycolyl, and sulfonic acid ester groups are labile during their release from carbohydrate chains and analytical procedures. In the present paper, we propose a method using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with eletrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS). The method was evaluated by applying to the analysis of sialic acids in various tissues, especially digestive organs in mice and rats. The method was based on the in situ precolumn derivatization of sialic acids after releasing them by hydrolysis. The sialic acids were derivatized with 1,2-diamino-4,5-methylenedioxybenzene to form highly fluorescent quinoxaline derivatives. By using two different hydrolysis conditions (i.e., with 2 M acetic acid and with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid), both total sialic acids and sialic acid distributions were easily determined. We found that sialic acids showed characteristic distributions in the tissues of mice and rats. Further, HPLC-ESI-MS revealed that all the tissues examined in mice and rats commonly contained highly acetylated sialic acids and 8-O-sulfated N-acetylneuraminic acid.

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