Identification and Structural Characterization of Novel Chondroitin/Dermatan Sulfate Hexassacharide Domains in Human Decorin by Ion Mobility Tandem Mass Spectrometry.
Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and dermatan sulfate (DS) are found in nature linked to proteoglycans, most often as hybrid CS/DS chains. In the extracellular matrix, where they are highly expressed, CS/DS are involved in fundamental processes and various pathologies. The structural diversity of CS/DS domains gave rise to efforts for the development of efficient analytical methods, among which is mass spectrometry (MS), one of the most resourceful techniques for the identification of novel species and their structure elucidation. In this context, we report here on the introduction of a fast, sensitive, and reliable approach based on ion mobility separation (IMS) MS and MS/MS by collision-induced dissociation (CID), for the profiling and structural analysis of CS/DS hexasaccharide domains in human embryonic kidney HEK293 cells decorin (DCN), obtained after CS/DS chain releasing by β-elimination, depolymerization using chondroitin AC I lyase, and fractionation by size-exclusion chromatography. By IMS MS, we were able to find novel CS/DS species, i.e., under- and oversulfated hexasaccharide domains in the released CS/DS chain. In the last stage of analysis, the optimized IMS CID MS/MS provided a series of diagnostic fragment ions crucial for the characterization of the misregulations, which occurred in the sulfation code of the trisulfated-4,5-Δ-GlcAGalNAc[IdoAGalNAc]2 sequence, due to the unusual sulfation sites.