Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Electron transfer and collision induced dissociation of non-derivatized and derivatized desmosine and isodesmosine.

PMID 23184412


Electron transfer dissociation (ETD) has attracted increasing interest due to its complementarity to collision-induced dissociation (CID). ETD allows the direct localization of labile post-translational modifications, which is of main interest in proteomics where differences and similarities between ETD and CID have been widely studied. However, due to the fact that ETD requires precursor ions to carry at least two charges, little is known about differences in ETD and CID of small molecules such as metabolites. In this work, ETD and CID of desmosine (DES) and isodesmosine (IDS), two isomers that due to the presence of a pyridinium group can carry two charges after protonation, are studied and compared. In addition, the influence of DES/IDS derivatization with propionic anhydride and polyethyleneglycol (PEG) reagents on ETD and CID was studied, since this is a common strategy to increase sensitivity and to facilitate the analysis by reversed-phase chromatography. Clear differences between ETD and CID of non-derivatized and derivatized-DES/IDS were observed. While CID is mainly attributable to charge-directed fragmentation, ETD is initiated by the generation of a hydrogen atom at the initial protonation site and its subsequent transfer to the pyridinium ring of DES/IDS. These differences are reflected in the generation of complex CID spectra dominated by the loss of small, noninformative molecules (NH(3), CO, H(2)O), while ETD spectra are simpler and dominated by characteristic side-chain losses. This constitutes a potential advantage of ETD in comparison to CID when employed for the targeted analysis of DES/IDS in biological samples.

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