Proton Affinity of Canavanine and Canaline, Oxyanalogues of Arginine and Ornithine, from the Extended Kinetic Method

The absolute proton affinities of the nonprotein amino acids canavanine and canaline have been determined using the extended kinetic method in an electrospray ionization quadrupole ion trap instrument. Canavanine results from the substitution of an oxygen atom for the δ-CH<sub>2</sub> group in the side chain of the protein amino acid arginine, whereas canaline results from a similar substitution at the δ-CH<sub>2</sub> group in the side chain of ornithine. Absolute proton affinities of 1001 ± 9 and 950 ± 7 kJ/mol are obtained for canavanine and canaline, respectively. For canaline, this proton affinity is in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions obtained using the hybrid density functional theory method B3LYP/6-311++G**//B3LYP/6-31+G*. For canavanine, theory predicts a somewhat larger proton affinity of 1015 kJ/mol. Oxygen atom substitution in these nonprotein amino acids results in a decrease in their proton affinities of 40−50 kJ/mol compared to arginine and ornithine.