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Gangliosides (GGs), sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids are involved in many brain functions at the cell and molecular level. Compositional and structural elucidation of GGs in mixtures extracted from human brain is essential for correlating their profile with the specialized function of each brain area in health and disease. As a part of our ongoing study on GG expression and structure in different healthy and diseased brain regions, in this work, a preliminary investigation of GGs in a specimen of human caudate nucleus (CN) was carried out using an advanced mass spectrometry (MS) technique. By chip-nanoelectrospray MS performed on a NanoMate robot coupled to a high capacity ion trap instrument, 81 GG components were detected in human CN in only 1.5 min of signal acquisition. Although the native GG mixture from CN was found dominated by mono-, di- and trisialylated GGs with a slight dominance of disialylated forms (GD), four tetrasialylated structures (GQ) and two pentasialylated (GP) species were also identified. Additionally, species with unusually long fatty acid chains, exceeding 30 carbon atoms in their ceramide (Cer) composition, and several glycoforms modified by fucosyl (Fuc), O-acetyl (O-Ac) and/or lactonization were discovered. By tandem MS (MS(2) ) using collision-induced dissociation, two atypical mono and disialylated species with long-chain fatty acids in their Cer could be confirmed and structurally characterized. These results may be a starting point for new GG-based approaches in the study of CN functions and ethiopathogenesis of CN-related neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Alina F Serb, Eugen Sisu, Zeljka Vukelić, Alina D Zamfir. Profiling and sequencing of gangliosides from human caudate nucleus by chip-nanoelectrospray mass spectrometry. Journal of mass spectrometry : JMS. 2012 Dec;47(12):1561-70

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PMID: 23280744

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