Analysis of anomericity is one of the most important issues in the structure elucidation of carbohydrates. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods are of particular interest and important to address the issue related to resolving anomericity of monosaccharide units in a glycan. However, direct analysis of hemiacetals has not been possible by MS because of the nonavailability of information regarding the gas-phase behavior of such ion species. We addressed this issue by using stage-discriminated energy-resolved mass spectrometry (ERMS) at the stages of MSn and MSn+1 and showed that such analysis can be made. This was achieved by proving that individual anomers can be identified and that the equilibrium of sodium adducted ion species of α- and β-anomers can be negated in the gas phase under collision-induced dissociation (CID) conditions. On the basis of these results, we could 1) observe the mutarotation of lactose and 2) speculate the hydrolysis mechanism of endo-glycosylceramidase by using mass spectrometry.
(Communicated by Takao SEKIYA, M.J.A.)
2009 The Japan Academy