State-of-the-art glycosaminoglycan characterization
Zappe, A.; Miller, R. L.; Struwe, W. B.; Pagel, K.* – 2021
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are heterogeneous acidic polysaccharides involved in a range of biological functions. They have a significant influence on the regulation of cellular processes and the development of various diseases and infections. To fully understand the functional roles that GAGs play in mammalian systems, including disease processes, it is essential to understand their structural features. Despite having a linear structure and a repetitive disaccharide backbone, their structural analysis is challenging and requires elaborate preparative and analytical techniques. In particular, the extent to which GAGs are sulfated, as well as variation in sulfate position across the entire oligosaccharide or on individual monosaccharides, represents a major obstacle. Here, we summarize the current state-of-the-art methodologies used for GAG sample preparation and analysis, discussing in detail liquid chromatograpy and mass spectrometry-based approaches, including advanced ion activation methods, ion mobility separations and infrared action spectroscopy of mass-selected species.