Identification of Isomeric N-Glycan Structures by Mass Spectrometry with 157 nm Laser-Induced Photofragmentation

Arugadoss Devakumar, Yehia Mechref, Pilsoo Kang, Milos V. Novotny, James P. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Characterization of structural isomers has become increasingly important and extremely challenging in glycobiology. This communication demonstrates the capability of ion-trap mass spectrometry in conjunction with 157 nm photofragmentation to identify different structural isomers of permethylated N-glycans derived from ovalbumin without chromatographic separation. The results are compared with collision-induced dissociation (CID) experiments. Photodissociation generates extensive cross-ring fragment ions as well as diagnostic glycosidic product ions that are not usually observed in CID MS/MS experiments. The detection of these product ions aids in characterizing indigenous glycan isomers. The ion trap facilitates MSn experiments on the diagnostic glycosidic fragments and cross-ring product ions generated through photofragmentation, thus allowing unambiguous assignment of all of the isomeric structures associated with the model glycoprotein used in this study. Photofragmentation is demonstrated to be a powerful technique for the structural characterization of glycans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1040
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


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