Determination of ganglioside composition and structure in human brain hemangioma by chip-based nanoelectrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2009 Dec;395(8):2465-77. doi: 10.1007/s00216-009-3188-8. Epub 2009 Oct 16.


We report here on a preliminary investigation of ganglioside composition and structure in human hemangioma, a benign tumor in the frontal cortex (HFC) in comparison to normal frontal cortex (NFC) tissue using for the first time advanced mass spectrometric methods based on fully automated chip-nanoelectrospray (nanoESI) high-capacity ion trap (HCT) and collision-induced dissociation (CID). The high ionization efficiency, sensitivity and reproducibility provided by the chip-nanoESI approach allowed for a reliable MS-based ganglioside comparative assay. Unlike NFC, ganglioside mixture extracted from HFC was found dominated by species of short glycan chains exhibiting lower overall sialic acid content. In HFC, only GT1 (d18:1/20:0), and GT3 (d18:1/25:1) polysialylated species were detected. Interestingly, none of these trisialylated forms was detected in NFC, suggesting that such components might selectively be associated with HFC. Unlike the case of previously investigated high malignancy gliosarcoma, in HFC one modified O-Ac-GD2 and one modified O-Ac-GM4 gangliosides were observed. This aspect suggests that these O-acetylated structures could be associated with cerebral tumors having reduced malignancy grade. Fragmentation analysis by CID in MS(2) mode using as precursors the ions corresponding to GT1 (d18:1/20:0) and GD1 (d18:1/20:0) provided data corroborating for the first time the presence of the common GT1a and GT1b isomers and the incidence of unusual GT1c and GT1d glycoforms in brain hemangioma tumor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Gangliosides / chemistry*
  • Gangliosides / metabolism*
  • Hemangioma / metabolism*
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Male
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / analysis
  • Nanotechnology
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Gangliosides
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid