Shimadzu Review Vol.77[1・2](2020)
Life Science


Development of Sialic Acid Linkage-Specific Alkylamidation (SALSA) Method and Application for GPI Anchor Glycopeptide Analysis

by Takashi Nishikaze, Ph.D.1

Shimadzu Review 77[1・2] (2020.7)


Due to the increasingly high performance of analytical instruments and advancements in soft ionization and ion cleaving techniques in recent years, technology for analyzing glycans by mass spectrometry has become standard technol-ogy, but it is still difficult to discriminate between different isomers with the same mass. In particular, mass spectrometric  analysis of sialoglycans containing fragile sialic acids and determination of their linkage structure remains a challenging task and represents one weakness of using mass spectrometry for glycan analysis. However, we recently developed new technology, the sialic acid linkage-specific alkylamidation (SALSA) method, that can discriminate between linked isomers using mass spectrometry by adding a linkage-dependent mass variation to the linkage structure while simultaneously using derivatization to protect the sialic acids. This article describes the development and application of the SALSA method. One advantage of the SALSA method in the described application is that it does not require using standard samples with defined linkage structures. That means it can discriminate between sialic acid linkage types using only a mass spectrome-ter, as described in the example of discriminating between sialic acid linkage types in GPI anchors. 

1Global Application Development Center, Analytical & Measuring Instruments Division, Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan

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