Electrospray Mass Spectrometry of Oligosaccharides of Plant Origin, pp. 181-207
Authors: (Maria do Rosário M. Domingues, Fernando M. Nunes, Manuel A. Coimbra, Departamento de Química, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, and others)
Abstract: Carbohydrates are widely distributed in nature, being responsible for different functions in almost all living organisms. They are present in the living systems as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and glycolipids. Their properties and applications are dependent on their detailed structure, namely, their composition in monosaccharides, type of linkages, branching, and anomeric configurations. Mass spectrometry (MS) is a useful tool for the study of carbohydrates, especially when soft ionization methods are used. For the analysis of oligosaccharides, electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MSn) has been elected in the last recent years as the method of choice, having the advantage of using underivatised oligomers, even when present in mixtures and with low abundance. The analysis of polysaccharides in their native form is difficult due to their high molecular weight. In order to overcome this, polysaccharides are usually cleaved into oligosaccharides.