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Carbohydr Res. 2005 Jul 25;340(10):1722-31.

Analysis of acidic carbohydrates as their quaternary ammonium or phosphonium salts by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry, Tokyo University of Science, 1-3 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan.


New two-component systems using quaternary ammonium or phosphonium salts as a co-matrix have been developed for the analysis of acidic carbohydrates by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS). In the analysis of the sodium salt of heparin disaccharide I-S, the combination of 2-amino-5-nitropyridine with tetraphenylphosphonium bromide gave the best result. In the analysis of gangliosides containing the sialic acid moiety, the combination of 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone with dimethyldipalmitylammonium bromide was determined to be the system of choice. Under optimum conditions all acidic carbohydrates gave molecular ions in the form of [M(Q(n))-Q]-, where M(Q(n)) is the molecular mass of a molecule containing n molecules of quaternary ions as salt.

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