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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2000 Jan;11(1):40-53.

Primary and secondary locations of charge sites in angiotensin II (M + 2H)2+ ions formed by electrospray ionization.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


High-energy tandem mass spectrometry and molecular dynamics calculations are used to determine the locations of charge in metastably decomposing (M + 2H)2+ ions of human angiotensin II. Charge-separation reactions provide critical information regarding charge sites in multiple charged ions. The most probable kinetic energy released (Tm.p.) from these decompositions are obtained using kinetic energy release distributions (KERDs) in conjunction with MS/MS (MS2), MS/MS/MS (MS3), and MS/MS/MS/MS (MS4) experiments. The most abundant singly and doubly charged product ions arise from precursor ion structures in which one proton is located on the arginine (Arg) side chain and the other proton is located on a distal peptide backbone carbonyl oxygen. The MS3 KERD experiments show unequivocally that neither the N-terminal amine nor the aspartic acid (Asp) side chain are sites of protonation. In the gas phase, protonation of the less basic peptide backbone instead of the more proximal and basic histidine (His) side chain is favored as a result of reduced coulomb repulsion between the two charge sites. The singly and doubly charged product ions of lesser abundance arise from precursor ion structures in which one proton is located on the Arg side chain and the other on the His side chain. This is demonstrated in the MS3 and MS4 mass-analyzed ion kinetic energy spectrometry experiments. Interestingly, (b7" + OH)2+ product ions, like the (M + 2H)2+ ions of angiotensin II, are observed to have at least two different decomposing structures in which charge sites have a primary and secondary location.

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