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A Multidimensional Mass Spectrometry-Based Workflow for De Novo Structural Elucidation of Oligosaccharides from Polysaccharides


Carbohydrates play essential roles in a variety of biological processes that are dictated by their structures. However, characterization of carbohydrate structures remains extremely difficult and generally unsolved. In this work, a de novo mass spectrometry-based workflow was developed to isolate and structurally elucidate oligosaccharides to provide sequence, monosaccharide compositions, and glycosidic linkage positions. The approach employs liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-based methods in a 3-dimensional concept: one high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-QTOF MS) analysis for oligosaccharide sequencing and two ultra high performance liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QqQ MS) analyses on fractionated oligosaccharides to determine their monosaccharides and linkages compositions. The workflow was validated by applying the procedure to maltooligosaccharide standards. The approach was then used to determine the structures of oligosaccharides derived from polysaccharide standards and whole food products. The integrated LC-MS workflow will reveal the in-depth structures of oligosaccharides.

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