Detection of nucleotides in positive-mode electrospray ionization mass spectrometry using multiply-charged cationic ion-pairing reagents

Dodbiba, Edra; Breitbach, Zachary S.; Wanigasekara, Eranda; Payagala, Tharanga; Xiaotong Zhang; Armstrong, Daniel W.
September 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Sep2010, Vol. 398 Issue 1, p367
Academic Journal
Nucleotides are a class of molecules that play an essential role in biological systems. A new method has been developed in the detection of nucleotides. These molecules can exist as monomers or constituents of oligomers and polymers. As such, they carry from one to several negative charges. In this study, different cationic ion-pairing reagents were used to complex with each of the 28 nucleotide monomers and nucleotide containing compounds. By using this method, this discrete set of anions was able to be detected in the positive-mode electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, as positively charged complexes. Tandem mass spectrometry experiments were also completed on the ion-pairing reagents that performed the best in the single ion monitoring (SIM) ion mode, and the sensitivity was lowered even further for most of the anions. Limits of detection for compounds such as thymidine diphosphate were improved as much as 100 times compared to the positive SIM mode, and 750 times when compared to the negative mode. A few nucleotides did not show a significant increase in sensitivity when analyzed in the positive ion mode, but in general the new method developed herein resulted in a much greater sensitivity than traditional detection in the negative mode.


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