Identification of Lewis and Blood Group Carbohydrate Epitopes by Ion Mobility-Tandem-Mass Spectrometry Fingerprinting
Hofmann, J.; Stuckmann, A.; Crispin, M.; Harvey, D. J.; Pagel, K.* and Struwe, W. B.* – 2017
Glycans have several elements that contribute to their structural complexity, involving a range of monosaccharide building blocks, configuration of linkages between residues and various degrees of branching on a given structure. Their analysis remains challenging and resolving minor isomeric variants can be difficult, in particular terminal fucosylated Lewis and blood group antigens present on N- and O-glycans. Accurately characterizing these isomeric structures by current techniques is not straightforward and typically requires a combination of methods and/or sample derivatization. Yet the ability to monitor the occurrence of these epitopes is important as structural changes are associated with several human diseases. The use of ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), which separates ions in the gas phase based on their size, charge and shape, offers a new potential tool for glycan analysis and recent reports have demonstrated its potential for glycomics. Here we show that Lewis and blood group isomers, which have identical fragmentation spectra, exhibit very distinctive IM drift times and collision cross sections (CCS). We show that IM-MS/MS analysis can rapidly and accurately differentiate epitopes from parotid N-glycans and milk oligosaccharides based on fucosylated fragment ions with characteristic CCSs.