Structural definition of trehalose 6-monomycolates and trehalose 6,6'-dimycolates from the pathogen Rhodococcus equi by multiple-stage linear ion-trap mass Spectrometry with electrospray ionization

Fong Fu Hsu, Jens Wohlmann, John Turk, Albert Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cell wall of the pathogenic bacterium Rhodococcus equi (R. equi) contains abundant trehalose monomycolate (TMM) and trehalose dimycolate (TDM), the glycolipids bearing mycolic acids. Here, we describe multiple-stage (MS n) linear ion-trap (LIT) mass spectrometric approaches toward structural characterization of TMM and TDM desorbed as [M + Alk] + (Alk = Na, Li) and as [M + X] - (X = CH 3CO 2, HCO 2) ions by electrospray ionization (ESI). Upon MS n (n=2, 3, 4) on the [M + Alk] + or the [M + X] - adduct ions of TMM and TDM, abundant structurally informative fragment ions are readily available, permitting fast assignment of the length of the meromycolate chain and of the α-branch on the mycolyl residues. In this way, structures of TMM and TDM isolated from pathogenic R. equi strain 103 can be determined. Our results indicate that the major TMM and TDM molecules possess 6, and/or 6'-mycolyl groups that consist of mainly C14 and C16 α-branches with meromycolate branches ranging from C18 to C28, similar to the structures of the unbound mycolic acids found in the cell envelope. Up to 60 isobaric isomers varying in chain length of the α-branch and of the meromycolate backbone were observed for some of the TDM species in the mixture. This mass spectrometric approach provides a direct method that affords identification of various TMM and TDM isomers in a mixture of which the complexity of this lipid class has not been previously reported using other analytical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2160-2170
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Cord factor
  • ESI
  • Glycolipids
  • Internal glucose loss
  • Mycolic acids
  • Rhodococcus equi
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • Trehalose dimycolate
  • Trehalose monomycolate

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