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Mass Spectrom Rev. 2018 Nov;37(6):811-853. doi: 10.1002/mas.21565. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Hydrogen/deuterium exchange in mass spectrometry.

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Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Skolkovo, Russian Federation.
Institute for Energy Problems of Chemical Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudnyi, Moscow Region, Russia.
Department of Chemistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Green Nano Center, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.


The isotopic exchange approach is in use since the first observation of such reactions in 1933 by Lewis. This approach allows the investigation of the pathways of chemical and biochemical reactions, determination of structure, composition, and conformation of molecules. Mass spectrometry has now become one of the most important analytical tools for the monitoring of the isotopic exchange reactions. Investigation of conformational dynamics of proteins, quantitative measurements, obtaining chemical, and structural information about individual compounds of the complex natural mixtures are mainly based on the use of isotope exchange in combination with high resolution mass spectrometry. The most important reaction is the Hydrogen/Deuterium exchange, which is mainly performed in the solution. Recently we have developed the approach allowing performing of the Hydrogen/Deuterium reaction on-line directly in the ionization source under atmospheric pressure. Such approach simplifies the sample preparation and can accelerate the exchange reaction so that certain hydrogens that are considered as non-labile will also participate in the exchange. The use of in-ionization source H/D exchange in modern mass spectrometry for structural elucidation of molecules serves as the basic theme in this review. We will focus on the mechanisms of the isotopic exchange reactions and on the application of in-ESI, in-APCI, and in-APPI source Hydrogen/Deuterium exchange for the investigation of petroleum, natural organic matter, oligosaccharides, and proteins including protein-protein complexes. The simple scenario for adaptation of H/D exchange reactions into mass spectrometric method is also highlighted along with a couple of examples collected from previous studies.


APCI; ESI; FT ICR. APPI; isotopic exchange; mass spectrometry


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