Revisiting monosaccharide analysis-quantitation of a comprehensive set of monosaccharides using dynamic multiple reaction monitoring

Gege Xu, Matthew J. Amicucci, Zhi Cheng, Ace G. Galermo, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A rapid method for the quantitation of sixteen neutral and acidic monosaccharides, from both animal and plant sources was developed using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UHPLC/QqQ-MS) in dynamic multiple reaction monitoring (dMRM) mode. Monosaccharides including three pentoses (ribose, xylose, arabinose), two deoxyhexoses (rhamnose, fucose), five hexoses (fructose, mannose, allose, glucose, galactose), two hexuronic acids (glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid), and two N-acetyl-hexosamines (GlcNAc, GalNAc), were derivatized with 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone (PMP), while underivatized sialic acids, Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc, were simultaneously analyzed with a 10-minute run. With the optimized UHPLC conditions, baseline separations of the isomers were achieved. The sensitivity and calibration ranges of this method were determined. The limits of detection were between femtomoles and attomoles with linear ranges spanning four to six orders of magnitude and coefficients of variation (CVs) ≤7.2%. Spiking experiments performed on a pooled fecal sample demonstrated the high accuracy of this method even when applied to samples with complicated matrices. The validated method was applied to fecal samples from an infant transitioning from breast milk to weaning foods. Major milk monosaccharides including galactose, fucose, glucose, GlcNAc, and Neu5Ac were found to be the most abundant components in the feces of milk-fed infants. PMP-derivatives of nine other monosaccharides including apiose, lyxose, altrose, talose, gulose, glucosamine, galactosamine, mannosamine, and N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) were also tested and could be added to the quantitation method depending on the need. The speed and sensitivity of the method makes it readily adaptable to rapid throughput analysis of monosaccharides in biological samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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