Investigation of intramolecular proton migration in a series of model, metal-cationized tripeptides using in situ generation of an isotope label


  • Portions of this work were communicated at the 52nd ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, Nashville, TN, May 23–27, 2004.


In this study we used an isotope label, generated in situ, to investigate intramolecular proton migration or scrambling during formation of [b2+17+Li]+ products by collision-induced dissociation (CID) of Li+-cationized tripeptides. To generate the isotope label, we used a McLafferty-type rearrangement of N-terminally acetylated, C-terminal peptide tert-butyl esters in which all amide positions were exchanged with deuterium. Using a set of small, model peptides, we show that intramolecular proton scrambling occurs during CID, particularly amongst adjacent sites along a peptide backbone, on the time scales employed for low-energy collisional activation in an ion-trap mass spectrometer. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.