The quantitative analysis by gas chromatography of monosaccharides present in glycoproteins and glycopeptides using methanolysis, followed by re-N-acetylation and trimethylsilylation, gives rise to several peaks for each monosaccharide. The identity of these peaks for xylose, fucose, mannose, galactose, glucose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine and N-acetylneuraminic acid was established for α- and β-methyl pyranosides and furanosides by combined g.l.c.-mass spectrometry and proton-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy. These data provide for the unambiguous interpretation of the gas chromatograms obtained in the application of this g.l.c. method, and supply basic information for the further application of mass spectrometry in this field.

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