Journal of the American Chemical Society

Electron capture by a hydrated gaseous peptide: effects of water on fragmentation and molecular survival.

PMID 18761457


The effects of water on electron capture dissociation products, molecular survival, and recombination energy are investigated for diprotonated Lys-Tyr-Lys solvated by between zero and 25 water molecules. For peptide ions with between 12 and 25 water molecules attached, electron capture results in a narrow distribution of product ions corresponding to primarily the loss of 10-12 water molecules from the reduced precursor. From these data, the recombination energy (RE) is determined to be equal to the energy that is lost by evaporating on average 10.7 water molecules, or 4.3 eV. Because water stabilizes ions, this value is a lower limit to the RE of the unsolvated ion, but it indicates that the majority of the available RE is deposited into internal modes of the peptide ion. Plotting the fragment ion abundances for ions formed from precursors with fewer than 11 water molecules as a function of hydration extent results in an energy resolved breakdown curve from which the appearance energies of the b 2 (+), y 2 (+), z 2 (+*), c 2 (+), and (KYK + H) (+) fragment ions formed from this peptide ion can be obtained; these values are 78, 88, 42, 11, and 9 kcal/mol, respectively. The propensity for H atom loss and ammonia loss from the precursor changes dramatically with the extent of hydration, and this change in reactivity can be directly attributed to a "caging" effect by the water molecules. These are the first experimental measurements of the RE and appearance energies of fragment ions due to electron capture dissociation of a multiply charged peptide. This novel ion nanocalorimetry technique can be applied more generally to other exothermic reactions that are not readily accessible to investigation by more conventional thermochemical methods.

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Lys-Tyr-Lys acetate salt, ≥97% (HPLC)
C21H35N5O5 · xC2H4O2