Sequential GC/MS analysis of sialic acids, monosaccharides, and amino acids of glycoproteins on a single sample as heptafluorobutyrate derivatives

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A GUMS procedure was developed for the analysis of all major constituents of glycoproteins. The rationale for this approach is that by using GC/MS analysis of the constituents as heptafluorobutyrate derivatives, it was possible to quantitatively determine the sialic acid, monosaccharide, fatty acids (when present), and the amino acid composition with the sample remaining in the same reaction vessel during the entire procedure. A mild acid hydrolysis was used to liberate sialic acids and was followed by formation of methyl-esters of heptafluorobutyrate (HFB) derivatives. After GC/MS analysis of sialic acids, the remaining material was submitted to acid-catalyzed methanolysis followed by the formation of HFB derivatives. After GUMS analysis of the monosaccharides, the sample was supplemented with norleucine (as internal standard) and hydrolyzed with 6 M HCl followed by the formation of isoamyl-esters of HFB derivatives and GC/MS analysis. His and Trp residues were modified during the step of acid-catalyzed methanolysis, but the resulting derivatives were stable during acid hydrolysis and quantitatively recovered by GUMS analysis. As a result, all constituents of glycoproteins (sialic acids, monosaccharides (or di- and trisaccharides) and amino acids) are identified in the electron impact mode of ionization and quantified using three GUMS analysis in the same chromatographic conditions and using a limited number of reagents, a considerable advantage over previous techniques. This method is very sensitive, all data (qualitative and quantitative) being obtained at the sub-nanomolar level of initial material.


  • A Pons
  • C Richet
  • C Robbe
  • Annkatrin Herrmann
  • P Timmerman
  • G Huet
  • Y Leroy
  • Ingemar Carlstedt
  • C Capon
  • JP Zanetta
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8342-8353
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Mucosal biology (013212033)