Glycosaminoglycans Analysis Service Glycosaminoglycans are large complex carbohydrate molecules that interact with a wide range of proteins involved in physiological and pathological processes. Glycosaminoglycans are sometimes known as mucopolysaccharides because of their viscous, lubricating properties, as found in mucous secretions. These molecules are present on all animal cell surfaces in the extracellular matrix, and some are known to bind and regulate a number of distinct proteins, including chemokines, cytokines, growth factors, morphogens, enzymes and adhesion molecules. Glycosaminoglycans are linear, sulphated, negatively charged polysaccharides that have molecular weights of roughly 10-100 kDa. There are two main types of GAGs. Non-sulphated GAGs include hyaluronic acid (HA), whereas sulphated GAGs include chondroitin sulphate (CS), dermatan sulphate (DS), keratan sulphate (KS), heparin and heparan sulphate (HS). Glycosaminoglycans chains are composed of disaccharide repeating units called disaccharide repeating regions. The repeating units are composed of uronic acid and amino sugar. Therefore, GAGs differ in the type of hexose, hexosamine or hexuronic acid unit that they contain, as well as the geometry of the glycosidic linkage between these units. The amino sugar may be sulphated on carbons 4 or 6 or on the non-acetylated nitrogen; however, the sugar backbone of GAGs can be sulphated at various positions. As a result, a simple octasaccharide can have over 1 000 000 different sulphation sequences. The simplest non-sulphated GAG HA has many important functional roles, including signalling activity during embryonic morphogenesis, pulmonary and vascular diseases and wound healing. Hyaluronic acid also acts as in the lubrication of synovial joints and joint movement, and its function has been described as space filler, wetting agent, flow barrier within the synovium and protector of cartilage surfaces. Anti-coagulation was the first described function for sulphated GAGs. Glycosaminoglycans play a major role in cell
signalling and development, angiogenesis, axonal growth, tumour progression, metastasis and anti-coagulation. Sulphated GAGs are a common constituent in many different types of amyloid, playing an important role in the pathology of amyloid diseases such as amyloid A-amyloidosis, Alzheimer's disease, type-2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases. Given the potential biological significance of DAGs, we have developed a reliable and reproducible method using highly sensitive LC-MS/MS method for the rapid identification and quantification of diverse glycosaminoglycans in different sample types, which can satisfy the needs of academic and industrial study in your lab.