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Identification of arabinoxylo-oligosaccharides (AXOS) within complex mixtures is an ongoing analytical challenge. Here, we established a strategy based on hydrophilic interaction chromatography coupled to collision induced dissociation-mass spectrometry (HILIC-MSn) to identify a variety of enzyme-derived AXOS structures. Oligosaccharide reduction with sodium borohydride remarkably improved chromatographic separation of isomers, and improved the recognition of oligosaccharide ends in MS-fragmentation patterns. Localization of arabinosyl substituents was facilitated by decreased intensity of Z ions relative to corresponding Y ions, when fragmentation occurred in the vicinity of substituents. Interestingly, the same B fragment ions (MS2) from HILIC-separated AXOS isomers showed distinct MS3 spectral fingerprints, being diagnostic for the linkage type of arabinosyl substituents. HILIC-MSn identification of AXOS was strengthened by using specific and well-characterized arabinofuranosidases. The detailed characterization of AXOS isomers currently achieved can be applied for studying AXOS functionality in complex (biological) matrices. Overall, the present strategy contributes to the comprehensive carbohydrate sequencing. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Dimitrios Kouzounis, Peicheng Sun, Edwin J Bakx, Henk A Schols, Mirjam A Kabel. Strategy to identify reduced arabinoxylo-oligosaccharides by HILIC-MSn. Carbohydrate polymers. 2022 Aug 01;289:119415

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PMID: 35483836

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