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Accurate Identification of Unknown and Known Metabolic Mixture Components by Combining 3D NMR with Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 10.08.2017, 00:00 by Cheng Wang, Lidong He, Da-Wei Li, Lei Bruschweiler-Li, Alan G. Marshall, Rafael Brüschweiler
Metabolite identification in metabolomics samples is a key step that critically impacts downstream analysis. We recently introduced the SUMMIT NMR/mass spectrometry (MS) hybrid approach for the identification of the molecular structure of unknown metabolites based on the combination of NMR, MS, and combinatorial cheminformatics. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of the approach for an untargeted analysis of both a model mixture and E. coli cell lysate based on 2D/3D NMR experiments in combination with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance MS and MS/MS data. For 19 of the 25 model metabolites, SUMMIT yielded complete structures that matched those in the mixture independent of database information. Of those, seven top-ranked structures matched those in the mixture, and four of those were further validated by positive ion MS/MS. For five metabolites, not part of the 19 metabolites, correct molecular structural motifs could be identified. For E. coli, SUMMIT MS/NMR identified 20 previously known metabolites with three or more 1H spins independent of database information. Moreover, for 15 unknown metabolites, molecular structural fragments were determined consistent with their spin systems and chemical shifts. By providing structural information for entire metabolites or molecular fragments, SUMMIT MS/NMR greatly assists the targeted or untargeted analysis of complex mixtures of unknown compounds.