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See detailSelective reduction of C = C double bonds in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of microcystins
Deleuze, Christelle ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg

in European Journal of Mass Spectrometry (Chichester, England) (2010), 16(1), 91-9

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic bacteria encountered in various aquatic environments. Some of them are able to produce powerful toxins called cyanotoxins. Among cyanotoxins, microcystins (MCs) constitute ... [more ▼]

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic bacteria encountered in various aquatic environments. Some of them are able to produce powerful toxins called cyanotoxins. Among cyanotoxins, microcystins (MCs) constitute a group of closely related cyclic heptapeptides. Their sequences are made up of classical amino acids as well as post- translational modified ones. Interestingly, in vivo metabolism of microcystins seems to be greatly dependent on various minor structural differences and particularly those of the seventh amino acid, which can be either dehydroalanine (or a derivative), dehydroaminobutyric acid (or a derivative), serine or alanine. As a consequence, microcystins have been classified on the basis of the nature of this singular amino acid. A major difficulty in the classification of such toxins is that some of them share the same molecular masses and the same molecular formulas. Consequently, a simple mass measurement is not sufficient to determine the structure and the class of a toxin of interest. Heavy and expensive techniques are used to classify them, such as multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance and amino acid analysis. In this work, a new matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight method leading to an easy classification of MCs is proposed. The methodology relies on the reductive properties of the matrix 1,5-diaminonaphtalene (1,5-DAN) which appears to be able to selectively reduce the double carbon-carbon bond belonging to the seventh amino acid. Moreover, the yield of reduction seems to be influenced by the degree of substitution of this double bond, allowing a discrimination between dehydroalanine and dehydroaminobutyric acid. This selective reduction was confirmed by the study of three synthetic peptides by mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. According to these results, the use of reductive matrices seems to be promising in the study of microcystins and in their classification. More generally, 1,5-DAN allows the selective reduction of double carbon-carbon bonds. This property could also be employed in the characterization of others types of compound displaying double bonds (petrochemistry, metabolomics....). [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of a bisquaternary ammonium salt by atmospheric pressure photoionization mass spectrometry
Giuliani, Alexandre; Debois, Delphine ULg; Laprévote, Olivier

in European Journal of Mass Spectrometry (Chichester, England) (2006), 12(3), 189-197

A comprehensive atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) mass spectrometry investigation of hexamethonium bromide is reported. This bisquaternary ammonium salt is a model system for the investigation ... [more ▼]

A comprehensive atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) mass spectrometry investigation of hexamethonium bromide is reported. This bisquaternary ammonium salt is a model system for the investigation of multiply charged species and elucidation of ion formation processes. It has been used to elucidate the physico-chemical phenomenon occurring when photoionization is carried out at atmospheric pressure. First, the in-source fragmentations were studied for aqueous solutions of the salt with the photoionization lamp switched off, i.e. under thermospray conditions. It is shown that, in this mode of operation, fragmentations are minor and may be classified into two classes, namely dequaternization and charge separation, arising from the two precursors, M2+ and [M+Br]+. Second, the fragmentation patterns have been monitored in dopant-assisted APPI for different dopants (toluene, toluene-d8 anisole and hexafluorobenzene) at various amounts. At low dopant flow rates, the [M+Br]+ and M2+ ions are still observed. As the flow rate is increased, these precursor ions lose intensity and are finally suppressed for all three dopants. Comparison of toluene and toluene-d8 reveals that H atoms may be transferred from the dopant to the molecular ions, very likely mediated by the solvent. The role of the solvent (water) was also investigated by using heavy water. Apart from the thermospray fragmentations, which are also observed in APPI, several fragmentation pathways appear to be specific to the photoionization process. Photoionization efficiencies are measured by determination of the relative photoionization cross sections with respect to toluene. It is found that, when the ionization efficiencies are taken into account, the depletion of the precursors as a function of the dopant flow rates is the same for all three dopant molecules. This result shows that the precursor ions are depleted by reactions with the photoelectrons released from the dopant. Three additional mechanisms are proposed to account for this effect: electron transfer or H atom transfer from negatively charged water nanodroplets and H atom transfer from the dopant. [less ▲]

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See detailCharge exchange in tandem mass spectrometry: dissociative single electron capture by doubly-charged toluene cations
Fati, D.; Leyh, Bernard ULg

in European Journal of Mass Spectrometry (Chichester, England) (2003), 9(4), 223-235

Single electron capture by doubly-charged toluene cations upon collision with various target gases has been investigated by sector tandem mass spectrometry. Both non-dissociative and dissociative charge ... [more ▼]

Single electron capture by doubly-charged toluene cations upon collision with various target gases has been investigated by sector tandem mass spectrometry. Both non-dissociative and dissociative charge transfer reactions leading to C(7)H(7)(+) + H and to C(5)H(5)(+) + [C(2),H(3)] are detected. Seven atomic or molecular target gases have been used with ionisation energies ranging from 8.8 eV to 14 eV. The branching ratios between the different non-dissociative and dissociative exit channels have been determined as well as the translational energy release on the dissociation products. The experimental data are compared to the predictions of a two-state semi-classical theoretical model that takes into account the non-adiabatic transition responsible for the charge transfer reaction. A wide reaction window shows up but the internal energies of the C(7)H(8)(+) cations produced by single electron capture are observed to be larger than expected. We assign this effect partly to the influence of the large density of vibrational states and to the multichannel nature of the process. Excited states of the dication are also most probably involved in the charge exchange reaction. [less ▲]

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