Differentiation of Boc-protected alpha,delta-/delta,alpha- and beta,delta-/delta,beta-hybrid peptide positional isomers by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.J Mass Spectrom. 2010 Jun; 45(6):651-63.JM
Two new series of Boc-N-alpha,delta-/delta,alpha- and beta,delta-/delta,beta-hybrid peptides containing repeats of L-Ala-delta(5)-Caa/delta(5)-Caa-L-Ala and beta(3)-Caa-delta(5)-Caa/delta(5)-Caa-beta(3)-Caa (L-Ala = L-alanine, Caa = C-linked carbo amino acid derived from D-xylose) have been differentiated by both positive and negative ion electrospray ionization (ESI) ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). MS(n) spectra of protonated isomeric peptides produce characteristic fragmentation involving the peptide backbone, the Boc-group, and the side chain. The dipeptide positional isomers are differentiated by the collision-induced dissociation (CID) of the protonated peptides. The loss of 2-methylprop-1-ene is more pronounced for Boc-NH-L-Ala-delta-Caa-OCH(3) (1), whereas it is totally absent for its positional isomer Boc-NH-delta-Caa-L-Ala-OCH(3) (7), instead it shows significant loss of t-butanol. On the other hand, second isomeric pair shows significant loss of t-butanol and loss of acetone for Boc-NH-delta-Caa-beta-Caa-OCH(3) (18), whereas these are insignificant for its positional isomer Boc-NH-beta-Caa-delta-Caa-OCH(3) (13). The tetra- and hexapeptide positional isomers also show significant differences in MS(2) and MS(3) CID spectra. It is observed that 'b' ions are abundant when oxazolone structures are formed through five-membered cyclic transition state and cyclization process for larger 'b' ions led to its insignificant abundance. However, b(1)(+) ion is formed in case of delta,alpha-dipeptide that may have a six-membered substituted piperidone ion structure. Furthermore, ESI negative ion MS/MS has also been found to be useful for differentiating these isomeric peptide acids. Thus, the results of MS/MS of pairs of di-, tetra-, and hexapeptide positional isomers provide peptide sequencing information and distinguish the positional isomers.