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Anal Chem. 2005 Sep 15;77(18):5902-11.

Heparin sequencing using enzymatic digestion and ESI-MSn with HOST: a heparin/HS oligosaccharide sequencing tool.

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Genome Center, and Departments of Chemistry/Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Mass spectrometry, and specifically sequential stages of mass spectrometry (MSn), is an established tool for the analysis of carbohydrates, proteins, and more recently glycosaminoglycans. As this trend continues, the development of algorithms for the rapid and automatic interpretation of mass spectra to identify glycan structure is also expected to grow as an active field of research. The methodology described herein utilizes a combination of enzymatic digestion, ESI-MS, and MSn for the sequencing of small heparin oligosaccharides. The heparin oligosaccharide sequencing tool (HOST) is a basic software application that was developed to aid in the integration and analysis of the data generated from these experiments, facilitating the process involved in arriving at sequence information. The sequences of several heparin oligosaccharides were determined using this method to illustrate proof of principle. Tandem MS is a very rapid and efficient tool for oligosaccharide analysis when limited amounts of material are available. Having a means, such as HOST, for automating the interpretation of the MSn data generated from glycosaminoglycans, provides a practical methodology for the future analysis of heparin/HS oligosaccharides of unknown structure.

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