Procainamide was investigated as a multifunctional oligosaccharide label for glycan profiling and identification in a HPLC-FL/ESI-QTOF system. Addition of this aromatic amine to glycans through reductive amination improves fluorescence detection and ESI ionization efficiency. Both procainamide and 2-AB derivatives of N-linked glycans released from three glycoproteins (Human IgG, Mouse IgG, and RNase B) were quantitatively profiled with HPLC-FL and identified with ESI-QTOF. The procainamide derivatives produced FL glycan profiles comparable to the 2-AB derivatives, but with a few extra minor peaks, which suggests better labeling efficiency for procainamide derivatives for minor peaks. The procainamide derivatives also improve ESI ionization efficiency by 10-50 times over the respective 2-AB derivatives and the ESI-QTOF method sensitivity is at the low picomole to high femtomole level. Using the procainamide tag, all N-linked glycans released from three tested glycoproteins can be quantitatively detected with HPLC-FL and identified with ESI-QTOF at the same time. Monosaccharide sequence confirmation was also demonstrated in this study.
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