Efficient Mapping of Sulfated Glycotopes by Negative Ion Mode nanoLC-MS/MS-Based Sulfoglycomic Analysis of Permethylated Glycans

Cheng CW, Chou CC, Hsieh HW, Tu Z, Lin CH, Nycholat C, Fukuda M, Khoo KH. Anal Chem. 2015 Jun 16;87(12):6380-8. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01409. PMID: 26016788

We have previously developed the enabling techniques for sulfoglycomics based on mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of permethylated glycans, which preserves the attractive features of more reliable MS/MS sequencing compared with that performed on native glycans, while providing an easy way to separate and hence enrich the sulfated glycans. Unlike LC-MS/MS analysis of native glycans in negative ion mode that has been more widely in use, the characteristics and potential benefits of similar applications based on permethylated sulfated glycans have not been fully investigated. We report here the important features of reverse phase-based nanoLC-MS/MS analysis of permethylated sulfated glycans in negative ion mode and demonstrate that complementary sets of diagnostic fragment ions afforded can allow rapid identification of various fucosylated, sialylated, sulfated glycotopes and definitive determination of the location of sulfate in a way difficult to achieve by other means. A parallel acquisition of both higher collision energy and trap-based MS(2) coupled with a product dependent MS(3) is conceivably the most productive sulfoglycomic workflow currently possible and the manually curated fragmentation characteristics presented here will allow future developments in automating data analysis.