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Use of 1,5-diaminonaphthalene to combine matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay fragmentation with hydrogen/deuterium exchange


Correspondence to: E. A. De Pauw, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, 3 Allée de la Chimie, Institute of Chemistry, Chemistry Building (B6c), University of Liège, Sart Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.




In-Source Decay (ISD) in Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry is a fast and easy top-down activation method. Our objective is to find a suitable matrix to locate the deuterons following in-solution hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX). This matrix must circumvent the commonly encountered undesired back-exchange reactions, in order to preserve the regioselective deuteration pattern.


The 1,5-diaminonaphthalene (1,5-DAN) matrix is known to be suitable for MALDI-ISD fragmentation. MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) was employed to compare 1,5-DAN and other commonly used MALDI matrices with respect to the extent of back-exchange and the uniformity of the H/D exchange profiles within the MALDI spots. We tested the back-exchange on the highly sensitive amyloid-beta peptide (1-40), and proved the regioselectivity on ubiquitin and β-endorphin.


MALDI-MSI results show that 1,5-DAN leads to the least back-exchange over all the spot. MALDI-ISD fragmentation combined with H/D exchange using 1,5-DAN matrix was validated by localizing deuterons in native ubiquitin. Results agree with previous data obtained by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Transfer Dissociation (ETD). Moreover, 1,5-DAN matrix was used to study the H/D exchange profile of the methanol-induced helical structure of β-endorphin, and the relative protection can be explained by the polarity of residues involved in hydrogen bond formation.


We found that controlling crystallization is the most important parameter when combining H/D exchange with MALDI. The 1,5-DAN matrix is characterized by a fast crystallization kinetics, and therefore gives robust and reliable H/D exchange profiles using MALDI-ISD. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.