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Biol Mass Spectrom. 1993 Sep;22(9):524-36.

Structural characterization of the cyanelle peptidoglycan of Cyanophora paradoxa by 252Cf plasma desorption mass spectrometry and fast atom bombardment/tandem mass spectrometry.

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Institute for Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria.


A strategy for the structural characterization of the four major NaBH4-reduced peptidoglycan monomers derived from muramidase-digested peptidoglycan from the cyanelles of the flagellate Cyanophora paradoxa Korschikoff is described. Initial molecular weight determination of these glycopeptides was performed by positive and negative ion plasma desorption mass spectrometry. Due to the presence of two pairs of disaccharide tripeptide and disaccharide tetrapeptide monomers differing in mass by 112 units, respectively, an as yet unknown peptidoglycan modification either at the carbohydrate or at the peptide moiety was assumed. beta-Elimination of the disaccharide unit from the unreduced peptidoglycan monomers yielded the corresponding (modified) N1-lactyltripeptides and -tetrapeptides, respectively. These peptides, N-terminally blocked with lactic acid, unambiguously showed the modification to be located on the peptide moiety. By positive ion fast atom bombardment/hybrid tandem mass spectrometry of the reduced peptidoglycan monomers as well as of the corresponding deglycosylated monomers (= N1-lactylpeptides) the modification was determined to be linked to the glutamic acid moiety. Based on combined data from plasma desorption mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, accurate mass measurement and amino acid analysis of the acid hydrolysate after derivatization with o-phthaldialdehyde by high-performance liquid chromatography we could establish the structure of the modification as N-acetylputrescine. Finally, the confirmation of the linkage of the glutamic acid to diaminopimelic acid via the gamma-COOH was based on the presence of a-type peptide backbone fragment ions in the positive ion plasma desorption mass spectra of the modified N1-lactylpeptides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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