Carbohydrates play numerous critical roles in biological systems. Characterization of oligosaccharide structures is essential to a complete understanding of their functions in biological processes; nevertheless, their structural determination remains challenging in part due to isomerism. Ion mobility spectrometry provides the means to resolve gas phase ions on the basis of their shape-to-charge ratios, thus providing significant potential for separation and differentiation of carbohydrate isomers. Here, we report on the determination of collisional cross sections for four groups of isomeric carbohydrates (including five isomeric disaccharides, four isomeric trisaccharides, two isomeric pentasaccharides, and two isomeric hexasaccharides) as their group I metal ion adducts (i.e., [M + Li]+, [M + Na] +, [M + K]+, [M + Rb]+, and [M + Cs] +). In all, 65 collisional cross sections were measured, the great majority of which have not been previously reported. As anticipated, the collisional cross sections of the carbohydrate metal ion adducts generally increase with increasing metal ion radius; however, the collisional cross sections were found to scale with the group I cation size in isomer specific manners. Such measurements are of substantial analytical value, as they illustrate how the selection of charge carrier influences carbohydrate ion mobility determinations. For example, certain pairs of isomeric carbohydrates assume unique collisional cross sections upon binding one metal ion, but not another. On the whole, these data suggest a role for the charge carrier as a probe of carbohydrate structure and thus have significant implications for the continued development and application of ion mobility spectrometry for the distinction and resolution of isomeric carbohydrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry