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Anal Chem. 1999 Oct 1;71(19):4427-9. doi: 10.1021/ac990530h.

Kinetic Resolution of d,l-Amino Acids Based on Gas-Phase Dissociation of Copper(II) Complexes.

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Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


Chiral recognition of d- and l-amino acids is achieved in the gas phase on the basis of the kinetics of competitive fragmentations of trimeric Cu(II)-bound complexes. The singly charged copper(II)-amino acid trimeric cluster ions [A(2)BCu(II) - H](+) dissociate to form [A(2)Cu(II) - H](+) and [ABCu(II) - H](+) upon collision-induced dissociation (CID) in a quadrupole ion trap. The abundance ratios of these fragments depend strongly on the stereochemistry of the ligands in the [A(2)BCu(II) - H](+) complex ion. The kinetic method was used to calculate relative Cu ion affinities (ΔCu(II)') for homo- and heterochiral copper(II)-bound dimeric cluster ions as the indicator of chiral discrimination. Six amino acids of four different types showed chiral distinctions which ranged from 0 to 6.5 kJ/mol in terms of values of ΔCu(II)' with abundance ratios, referenced to the other enantiomer, ranging from 1 to 9.2. Amino acids with aromatic substituents displayed the largest chiral distinction, which correlates well with reported chromatographic results. The methodology presented here provides a sensitive means to study enantiomers by mass spectrometry, and initial results show that it is applicable to measurement of enantiomeric excess.


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