There are a large number of labeling methods for asparagine-type oligosaccharides with fluorogenic and chromophoric reagents. We have to choose the most appropriate labeling method based on the purposes such as mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. Asparagine-type glycans are released from core proteins as N-glycosylamine at the initial step of the releasing reaction when glycoamidase F is employed as the enzyme. The N-glycosylamine-type oligosaccharides thus released by the enzyme are subjected to hydrolysis or mutarotation to form free-form oligosaccharides. In the detailed studies on the enzyme reaction, we found a condition in which the released N-glycosylamine-type oligosaccharides were exclusively present at least during the course of enzyme reaction, and developed a method for in situ derivatization of the glycosylamine-type oligosaccharides with 9-fluorenylmethyl chloroformate (Fmoc-CI). The Fmoc labeled sialo- and asialo- (or high-mannose and hybrid) oligosaccharides were successfully analyzed on an amine-bonded polymer column and amide-silica column, respectively. The present method showed approximately 5 times higher sensitivities than that using 2-aminobenzoic acid (2-AA). The separation profile was similar to that observed using 2-AA method as examined by the analyses of carbohydrate chains derived from several glycoproteins including complex-type, high-mannose type and hybrid type of N-linked oligosaccharides. The labeled oligosaccharides were stable at least for several months when stored at -20°C. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that the Fmoc-derivatized oligosaccharides could be easily recovered as free reducing oligosaccharides simply by incubation with morpholine in dimethylformamide solution. We obtained a pure triantennary oligosaccharide with 3 sialic acid residues as a free reducing form from fetuin in good yield after isolation of the corresponding Fmoc oligosaccharide followed by removing reaction of the Fmoc group. The proposed method will be useful for preparation of free oligosaccharides as standard samples at pmol-nmol scale from commercially available glycoproteins.
- 9-fluorenylmethyl chloroformate (Fmoc-Cl)
- Oligosaccharide mapping