After breast milk is ingested by the infant, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) can tolerate the low pH of the gastrointestinal tract and can resist the degradation of the infant’s pancreatic enzymes and brush border enzymes. Most of them reach the distal small intestine and colon in intact form and are excreted with the infant's feces, so the absorption rate of HMO is very low. Nevertheless, HMOs play an extremely important role in the growth and development of infants. A large number of studies have reported that HMOs play anti-bacterial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects. These mixed oligosaccharides have multiple functions, such as prebiotics, influence on the microbial composition of the gastrointestinal tract, prevent intestinal pathogen adhesion, and improve host defense capabilities.
Figure 1. Postulated HMO effects (Bode, L. 2012)
HMOs are complex glycans formed from glucose (Glc), galactose (Gal), fucose (Fuc), N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). With a few exceptions, all HMOs are formed by reducing lactose core, which can be enzymatically extended through lacto-N-biose (Galβ1,3-GlcNAc, type 1 LacNAc) or N-acetyllactosamine (Gal-β1,4-GlcNAc, type 2 LacNAc) motifs. Further decoration of these structures can be achieved by adding Fuc residues in α1,2-, α1,3- and α1,4-linkages or adding Neu5Ac residues in α2,3- and α2,6-linkages, thereby providing g an array of Lewis structures and blood group antigens. The structure of HMO is complex, and there are multiple positional isomers and linkage isomers, which makes the separation and analysis of HMOs more complicated and difficult.
Figure 2. Generic building scheme of HMOs (Ayechu-Muruzabal, V.; et al. 2018)
CD BioGlyco provides a variety of advanced technologies including UPLC, HPAEC, PGC, HILIC to help customers isolate low-abundance HMOs, you only need to submit the sample to us.
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