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Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

Differentiation of estriol glucuronide isomers by chemical derivatization and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry.


PMID 16586468

Abstract

This paper describes a way of differentiating between the three isomers of estriol glucuronide by the use of chemical derivatization and liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). In their native form, these isomers gave rise to almost identical product ion spectra, involving the neutral loss of 176 Da (i.e. monodehydrated glucuronic acid), which made it impossible to determine the position of conjugation by MS/MS alone. In order to change the fragmentation pathways, positive charges were introduced into the analytes by chemical derivatization. The following reagents were tested: 2-chloro-1-methylpyridinium iodide, 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide and 2-picolylamine. Interestingly, derivatization using a combination of all three reagents gave a selective fragmentation pattern that could differentiate between the isomers estriol-16-glucuronide and estriol-17-glucuronide. Estriol-3-glucuronide, which lacks a free phenolic group, could be differentiated through a different type of reaction product when exposed to 2-chloro-1-methylpyridinium iodide. Furthermore, in order to assist structural assignment of the fragments, their accurate masses were determined using a hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and fragmentation pathways were elucidated by the use of MS3 on an ion trap mass spectrometer.

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E1877
Estriol 16α-(β-D-glucuronide), ≥97%
C24H32O9