A mechanistic study of diacyl glycerophosphoethanolamine fragmentation under low energy collision-activated dissociation with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry is reported. The fragmentation pathways leading to the formation of carboxylate anions (RxCO2-) (x = 1, 2) and the formation of the ions representing neutral loss of ketene ([M - H - R′xH=C=O]-) are charge-driven processes, which are governed by the gas-phase basicity and the steric configuration of the molecules. The fragmentation pathway for the formation of the [M - H - RxCO2H]- ions, reflecting neutral loss of fatty acid, is a charge-remote process, which involves the participation of the hydrogens at C-1 and C-2 of the glycerol, resulting in [M - H - R2CO2H]- > [M - H - R1CO2H]-. The preferential formations of R2CO2- > R1CO2-, and of [M - H - R′2CH=C=O]- > [M - H - R′1CH=C=O]- are attributed to the findings that charge-driven processes are sterically more favorable at sn-2. The observation of the abundance of [M - H - R′xCH=C=O]- > [M - H - RxCO2H]- is attributed to the fact that the [M - H]- ions of GPE are basic precursor ions, which undergo preferential loss of ketene than loss of acid. The major pathway for the formation of RxCO2- ions arises from the nucleophilic attack of the anionic charge site of the phosphate on the C-1 or C-2 of the glycerol to render a charge transfer. The sterically more favorable attack on the C-2 than C-2 of the glycerol results in the abundance of R2CO2- > R1CO2-. These features of tandem spectra readily identify and locate the fatty acid substituents of GPE in the glycerol backbone.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry|
|State||Published - 2000|