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Collision-Induced Dissociation of the A + 2 Isotope Ion Facilitates Glucosinolates Structure Elucidation by Electrospray Ionization-Tandem Mass Spectrometry with a Linear Quadrupole Ion Trap

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journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2010, 00:00 by Tommaso R. I. Cataldi, Filomena Lelario, Donatella Orlando, Sabino A. Bufo
An approach is presented that can be of general applicability for structural elucidation of naturally occurring glucosinolates (GLSs) in crude plant extracts based on the fragmentation of isotopic A and A + 2 peaks. The most important fragmentation pathways were studied by tandem mass spectrometry (MSn, n = 2, 3) using a linear quadrupole ion trap (LTQ) upon GLSs separation by optimized reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) and electrospray ionization (ESI) in negative ion mode. As the LTQ MS analyzer ensures high sensitivity and linearity, the fragmentation behavior under collision induced dissociation (CID) of the isotopic peaks A and A + 2 as precursor ions was carefully examined. All GLSs (R−C7H11O9NS2) share a common structure with at least two sulfur atoms and significant isotopic abundance of 34S. Thus, dissociation of the +2 Da isotopomeric ions results in several fragment ion doublets containing a combination of 32S and 34S. Accordingly, their relative abundances allow one to speed up the structural recognition of GLSs with great confidence, as it produces more structurally informative ions than conventional tandem MS performed on A ions. This approach has been validated on known GLSs bearing two, three, four, and six sulfur atoms by comparing expected and measured isotopic peak abundance ratios (IA/IA+2). Both group- and compound-specific fragments were observed; the predominant pathway of fragmentation of GLSs gives rise to species having the following m/z values, [M − SO3 − H], [M − 196 − H], [M − 178 − H], and [M − 162 − H] after H rearrangement from the R− side chain. The present strategy was successfully applied to extracts of rocket salad leaves (Eruca sativa L.), which was sufficient for the chemical identification of a not already known 6-methylsulfonyl-3-oxohexyl-GLS, a long-chain-length aliphatic glucosinolate, which contains three sulfurs and exhibits a deprotonated molecular ion at m/z 494.1.