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Fragmentation Mechanisms of Product Ions from Protonated Tripeptides

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posted on 02.12.2004, 00:00 by Houssain El Aribi, Galina Orlova, Christopher F. Rodriquez, David R. P. Almeida, Alan C. Hopkinson, K. W. Michael Siu
Dissociation chemistries of the primary fragment ions from the tripeptides, GAG and AGG, were examined both experimentally and theoretically, and compared with those from GGG [El Aribi, H.; Rodriquez, C. F.; Almeida, D. R. P.; Ling, Y.; Mak, W. W.-N.; Hopkinson, A. C.; Siu, K. W. M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 9229−9236]. Findings in this study with GAG and AGG confirm and extend those in the earlier study on GGG. Fragmentation of the b2 to a2 ion from GAG and AGG is qualitatively similar to that from GGG; stabilization by the methyl group, however, results in generally lower energies for GAG. Fragmentation of the a2 ion from GAG produces both the a1 (protonated methanimine) and the internal iminium ion (protonated ethanimine). By contrast, fragmentation of the a2 ion from AGG produces only the a1 ion (protonated ethanimine). In GAG, formation of the internal iminium ion requires an intramolecular proton transfer in the proton-bridged complex after cleavage of CO, which is absent in AGG. The a1 ion from GAG is postulated to form via cleavage of the vibrationally excited proton-bridged complex prior to proton transfer, favored under higher collision-energy conditions. The critical transition state in the fragmentation of the b2 to a1 ion is best described as a complex between the a1 ion and a carbene. Although details differ, in both GAG and AGG, there is a proton transfer from the terminal amino group to the carbene carbon and a second proton transfer from the ring nitrogen back to the terminal amino group. Separation of the components then yields the a1 ion and a neutral oxazolone.

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