Annotation and structural analysis of sialylated human milk oligosaccharides

Shuai Wu, Rudolf Grimm, J. Bruce German, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Sialylated human milk oligosaccharides (SHMOs) are important components of human milk oligosaccharides. Sialic acids are typically found on the nonreducing end and are known binding sites for pathogens and aid in neonates' brain development. Due to their negative charge and hydrophilic nature, they also help modulate cell - cell interactions. It has also been shown that sialic acids are involved in regulating the immune response and aid in brain development. In this study, the enriched SHMOs from pooled milk sample were analyzed by HPLC-Chip/QTOF MS. The instrument employs a microchip-based nano-LC column packed with porous graphitized carbon (PGC) to provide excellent isomer separation for SHMOs with highly reproducible retention time. The precursor ions were further examined with collision-induced dissociation (CID). By applying the proper collision energy, isomers can be readily differentiated by diagnostic peaks and characteristic fragmentation patterns. A set of 30 SHMO structures with retention times, accurate masses, and MS/MS spectra was deduced and incorporated into an HMO library. When combined with previously determined neutral components, a library with over 70 structures is obtained allowing high-throughput oligosaccharide structure identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-868
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 4 2011


  • CID
  • Sialylated human milk oligosaccharides
  • Structure identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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