Determination of linkage position and anomeric configuration in Hex-Fuc disaccharides using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry
Fixed-energy sequential tandem mass spectrometry (MSn) capabilities offered by quadrupole ion trap instruments have been explored in a systematic study of six isomers of Gal-Fucα-OBenzyl disaccharides. Under collision-induced dissociation (CID), sodiated molecular species generated in the positive-ion electrospray ionization mode yield simple and predictable mass spectra. Information on interglycosidic linkages and configurations can be deduced from the relative intensities of the selected diagnostic fragments arising from the glycosidic bond cleavages and corroborated by the fragments arising from cross-ring cleavages. As the CID patterns are not dependent on the number of prior tandem mass spectrometric steps, structures can be unambiguously assigned by matching the spectra with a library. The rules governing the fragmentation behavior of this class of oligosaccharides were tested for a representative isomeric disaccharide, Glcβ1,3Fucα-OAllyl. The findings establish a basis for using MSn with a quadrupole ion trap instrument to elucidate structures of hexose-fucose subunits from more complicated oligosaccharides. Energy-resolved mass spectra were also acquired by CID tandem triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. The breakdown behavior of the molecular ions revealed patterns which could differentiate stereoisomers of Gal-Fuc disaccharides over a range of collision energy from 20 to 50 eV. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.