A new method based on the chemical reaction has been devised for the sequential analysis of reducing oligosaccharides using 8-amino-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS), a fluorescent precolumn derivatization reagent for reducing saccharides. The procedure established includes 1) the derivatization of a reducing oligosaccharide to produce a Schiff base, 2) the reduction of the base with sodium cyanoborohydride (NaBH(3)CN), 3) the methoxycarbonylation of the resultant secondary amino group, 4) the cleavage of the glycoside bond next to the reducing end, based on the intramolecular acid hydrolysis by the action of a sulfonic acid group of the ANS derivative, 5) the identification of the liberated reducing end by high-per-formance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and finally 6) the recovery of the resultant oligosaccharide fragment from the cleavage reaction mixture. The extensive examination of the conditions for the sequential analysis of reducing oligosaccharides resulted in the procedure of simplicity, high selectivity and high recovery. This procedure was found to be useful for the sequential analysis of di-, tri- and tetrasaccharides.
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