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Distinguishing Biologically Relevant Hexoses by Water Adduction to the Lithium-Cationized Molecule

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journal contribution
posted on 06.09.2017 by Matthew T. Campbell, Dazhe Chen, Nicholas J. Wallbillich, Gary L. Glish
A method to distinguish the four most common biologically relevant underivatized hexoses, d-glucose, d-galactose, d-mannose, and d-fructose, using only mass spectrometry with no prior separation/derivatization step has been developed. Electrospray of a solution containing hexose and a lithium salt generates [Hexose+Li]+. The lithium-cationized hexoses adduct water in a quadrupole ion trap. The rate of this water adduction reaction can be used to distinguish the four hexoses. Additionally, for each hexose, multiple lithiation sites are possible, allowing for multiple structures of [Hexose+Li]+. Electrospray produces at least one structure that reacts with water and at least one that does not. The ratio of unreactive lithium-cationized hexose to total lithium-cationized hexose is unique for the four hexoses studied, providing a second method for distinguishing the isomers. Use of the water adduction reaction rate or the unreactive ratio provides two separate methods for confidently (p ≤ 0.02) distinguishing the most common biologically relevant hexoses using only femtomoles of hexose. Additionally, binary mixtures of glucose and fructose were studied. A calibration curve was created by measuring the reaction rate of various samples with different ratios of fructose and glucose. The calibration curve was used to accurately measure the percentage of fructose in three samples of high fructose corn syrup (<4% error).