Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Structural characterization of neutral oligosaccharides by laser-enhanced in-source decay of MALDI-FTICR MS.

PMID 21472519


MALDI in-source decay (ISD) technique described to date has proven to be a convenient and rapid method for sequencing purified peptides and proteins. However, the general ISD still can not produce adequate fragments for the detailed structural elucidation of oligosaccharides. In this study, an efficient and practical method termed the laser-enhanced ISD (LEISD) technique of MALDI-FTICR MS allows highly reliable and abundant fragmentation of the neutral oligosaccharides, which was attributed to the ultrahigh irradiation laser of mJ level. The yield of ISD fragmentation was evaluated under different laser powers for 7 neutral oligosaccharides using DHB as matrix. Better quality ISD spectra including fragment ions in low-mass region were obtained at higher laser power. Results from the LEISD of oligosaccharides demonstrated that a significantly better signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and more structural information could be obtained in comparison to the conventional CID. It was also suggested that the valuable A ions derived from cross-ring cleavage of the linear oligosaccharides allowed the distinction among α(1→4)-, α(1→6)-, β(1→4)-, and β(1→3)-linked isobaric structures according to fragment types and intensities. In addition, ideal fragmentation ions observed by LEISD method facilitated the determination of the sequences and branched points of complex oligosaccharides from human milk.