Characterization of Long-Chain Fatty Acid as N-(4-Aminomethylphenyl) Pyridinium Derivative by MALDI LIFT-TOF/TOF Mass Spectrometry

Cheryl Frankfater, Xuntian Jiang, Fong Fu Hsu

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21 Scopus citations


Charge remote fragmentation (CRF) elimination of C n H 2n+2 residues along the aliphatic tail of long chain fatty acid is hall mark of keV high-energy CID fragmentation process. It is an important fragmentation pathway leading to structural characterization of biomolecules by CID tandem mass spectrometry. In this report, we describe MALDI LIFT TOF-TOF mass spectrometric approach to study a wide variety of fatty acids (FAs), which were derivatized to N-(4-aminomethylphenyl) pyridinium (AMPP) derivative, and desorbed as M + ions by laser with or without matrix. The high-energy MALDI LIFT TOF-TOF mass spectra of FA-AMPP contain fragment ions mainly deriving from CRF cleavages of C n H 2n+2 residues, as expected. These ions together with ions from specific cleavages of the bond(s) involving the functional group within the molecule provide more complete structural identification than those produced by low-energy CID/HCD using a linear ion-trap instrument. However, this LIFT TOF-TOF mass spectrometric approach inherits low sensitivity, a typical feature of high-energy CID tandem mass spectrometry. Because of the lack of unit mass precursor ion selection with sufficient sensitivity of the current LIFT TOF-TOF technology, product ion spectra from same chain length fatty acids with difference in one or two double bonds in a mixture are not distinguishable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1688-1699
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Branched fatty acids
  • Charge switch derivatization
  • HCD
  • High-energy CID
  • Linear ion-trap
  • Lipidomics
  • Microbial lipids


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