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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2005 May;16(5):683-96.

Influence of the labeling group on ionization and fragmentation of carbohydrates in mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The ionization and fragmentation behaviors of carbohydrate derivatives prepared by reaction with 2-aminobenzamide (AB), 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone (PMP), and phenylhydrazine (PHN) were compared under identical mass spectrometric conditions. It has been shown that the intensities of signals in MS spectra depend on the kind of saccharides investigated and reducing end labels used. PMP sialyllactose, when ionized by ESI/MALDI, produced a mixture of [M + H]+, [M + Na]+, [M - H + 2Na]+ ions in the positive mode and [M - H]-, [M + Na - 2H]- ions in the negative mode. The AB and PHN derivatives formed abundant [M + H]+ and [M - H]- ions in ESI, and by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) produced abundant [M + Na]+ ions. PMP- and reduced AB-sialyllactose produced only Y-type fragment ions under both MS/MS sources. In the electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS/MS spectrum of PHN-sialyllactose, abundant ions corresponded to B, Z cleavages and in its MALDI-MS/MS spectrum, the abundant ions were consistent with Y glycosidic cleavages with the concurrence of B, C, and cross-ring fragment ions. In the MALDI-MS spectra of oligosaccharides acquired immediately after derivatization, it was possible to detect only PHN derivatives. After purification, spectra of all three types of derivatives showed high signal-to-noise ratios with the most abundant ions observed for AB reduced saccharides. [M + Na]+ ions were the dominant products and their fragmentation patterns were influenced by the type of the labeling and the kind of oligosaccharide considered. In the MALDI-PSD and -MS/MS spectra of AB-derivatized glycans, higher m/z fragment ions corresponded to B and Y cleavages and the loss of bisecting GlcNAc appeared as a weak signal or was not detected at all. Fragmentation patterns observed in the spectra of hybrid/complex PHN and PMP glycans were more comparable-higher m/z fragments corresponded to B and C glycosidic cleavages. For PHN glycans, the abundance of ions resulting from the loss of bisecting GlcNAc depended on the number of residues linked to the 6-positioned mannose. Also, PHN and PMP derivatives produced cross-ring cleavages with abundances higher than observed in the spectra of AB derivatized oligosaccharides. For high-mannose glycans, the most informative cleavages were provided by AB and PHN type of labeling. Here, PMP produced dominant Y-cleavages from the chitobiose while other ions produced weak signals.

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