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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2003 Jan;14(1):23-41.

Electron capture dissociation and infrared multiphoton dissociation of oligodeoxynucleotide dications.

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Ion Cyclotron Resonance Program, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, Florida 32310, USA.


We report electron capture dissociation (ECD) and infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) of doubly protonated and protonated/alkali metal ionized oligodeoxynucleotides. Mass spectra following ECD of the homodeoxynucleotides polydC, polydG, and polydA contain w or d "sequence" ions. For polydC and polydA, the observed fragments are even-electron ions, whereas radical w/d ions are observed for polydG. Base loss is seen for polydG and polydA but is a minor fragmentation pathway in ECD of polydC. We also observe fragment ions corresponding to w/d plus water in the spectra of polydC and d(GCATGC). Although the structure of these ions is not clear, they are suggested to proceed through a pentavalent phosphorane intermediate. The major fragment in ECD of d(GCATGC) is a d ion. Radical a- or z-type fragment ions are observed in most cases. IRMPD primarily results in base loss, but backbone fragmentation is also observed. IRMPD provides more sequence information than ECD, but the spectra are more complex due to extensive base and water losses. It is proposed that the smaller degree of sequence coverage in ECD, with fragmentation mostly occurring close to the ends of the molecules, is a consequence of a mechanism in which the electron is captured at a P=O bond, resulting in a negatively charged phosphate group. Consequently, at least two protons (or alkali metal cations) must be present to observe a w or d fragment ion, a requirement that is less likely for small fragments.

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