The combination of ion mobility with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization allows for the rapid separation and analysis of biomolecules in complex mixtures (such as tissue sections and cellular extracts), as isobaric lipid, peptide, and oligonucleotide molecular ions are pre-separated in the mobility cell before mass analysis. In this study, MALDI-IM MS is used to analyze gangliosides, a class of complex glycosphingolipids that has different degrees of sialylation. Both GD1a and GD1b, structural isomers, were studied to see the effects on gas-phase structure depending upon the localization of the sialic acids. A total ganglioside extract from mouse brain was also analyzed to measure the effectiveness of ion mobility to separate out the different ganglioside species in a complex mixture.
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