Insights on the distribution of substitutions in spruce galactoglucomannan and its derivatives using integrated chemo-enzymatic deconstruction, chromatography and mass spectrometry

Jun Liu, Ann-Sofie Leppänen, Victor Kisonen, Stefan Willför, Chunlin Xu, F Vilaplana

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate determination of the distribution of substitutions in the primary molecular structure of heteropolysaccharides and their derivatives is a prerequisite for their increasing application in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields, which is unfortunately hindered due to the lack of effective analytical techniques. Acetylated galactoglucomannan (GGM) is an abundant plant polysaccharide as the main hemicellulose in softwoods, and therefore constitutes an important renewable resource from lignocellulosic biomass for the development of bioactive and functional materials. Here we present a methodology for profiling the intramolecular structure of spruce GGM and its chemical derivatives (cationic, anionic, and benzoylated) by combining chemo-enzymatic hydrolysis, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Fast identification and qualitative mass profiling of GGM and its derivatives was conducted using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Tandem mass fragmentation analysis and its hyphenation with hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC-ESI-MS/MS) provide further insights on the substitution placement of the GGM oligosaccharides and its derivatives. This method will be useful in understanding the structure-function relationships of native GGM and their derivatives, and therefore facilitate their potential application. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)616–625
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Plant polysaccharides
  • Chemo-enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Molecular structure
  • Glycomics

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