Negative ion tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) spectra of three isomeric triantennary N-linked glycans provided clear differentiation between the isomers and confirmed the occurrence of an isomer that was substituted with galactose on a bisecting GlcNAc (1 --> 4-substituted on the core mannose) residue recently reported by Takegawa et al. from N-glycans released from human immunoglobulin G (IgG). We extend this analysis of human serum IgG to reveal an analogue of the fucosylated triantennary glycan reported by Takegawa et al. together with a third compound that lacked both the sialic acid and the fucose residues. In addition, we demonstrate the biosynthesis of bisected hybrid-type glycans with the galactose modification, with and without core fucose, on the stem cell marker glycoprotein, 19A, expressed in a partially ricin-resistant human embryonic kidney cell line. It would appear, therefore, that this modification of N-linked glycans containing a galactosylated bisecting GlcNAc residue may be more common than originally thought. Negative ion MS/MS analysis of glycans is likely to prove an invaluable tool in the analysis and monitoring of therapeutic glycoproteins.
(c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.