This study proposes a new direct and fast method of analysis employing paper spray mass spectrometry (PS-MS). The paper used in the proposed method was modified with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) to create a specific site for cocaine analysis in oral fluid. MIP membrane was successfully synthetized and employed. The developed method showed to be linear in a concentration range from LOQ to 100 ng mL–1. The experimental value of LOQ obtained was 1 ng mL–1. The inter-day and intra-day precision and accuracy of the PS-MS method presented values lower than 15%. The total recoveries were also evaluated. The PS-MS method for the analysis of cocaine in oral fluid showed to be very promising and the validation parameters showed a good correlation with the literature. Graphical abstractᅟ
Capillary zone electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (CZE-ESI-MS/MS) has attracted attention recently for top-down proteomics because it can achieve highly efficient separation and very sensitive detection of proteins. However, separation window and sample loading volume of CZE need to be boosted for a better proteome coverage using CZE-MS/MS. Here, we present an improved CZE-MS/MS system that achieved a 180-min separation window and a 2-μL sample loading volume for top-down characterization of protein mixtures. The system obtained highly efficient separation of proteins with nearly one million theoretical plates for myoglobin and enabled baseline separation of three different proteoforms of myoglobin. The CZE-MS/MS system identified 797 ± 21 proteoforms and 258 ± 7 proteins (n = 2) from an Escherichia coli (E. coli) proteome sample in a single run with only 250 ng of proteins injected. The system still identified 449 ± 40 proteoforms and 173 ± 6 proteins (n = 2) from the E. coli sample when only 25 ng of proteins were injected per run. Single-shot CZE-MS/MS analyses of zebrafish brain cerebellum (Cb) and optic tectum (Teo) regions identified 1730 ± 196 proteoforms (n = 3) and 2024 ± 255 proteoforms (n = 3), respectively, with only 500-ng proteins loaded per run. Label-free quantitative top-down proteomics of zebrafish brain Cb and Teo regions revealed significant differences between Cb and Teo regarding the proteoform abundance. Over 700 proteoforms from 131 proteins had significantly higher abundance in Cb compared to Teo, and these proteins were highly enriched in several biological processes, including muscle contraction, glycolytic process, and mesenchyme migration. Graphical Abstract
Infrared multiple photon dissociation action spectroscopy was performed on the AlaOrn b2 + and AlaAlaOrn b3 + fragment ions from ornithine-containing tetrapeptides. Infrared spectra were obtained in the fingerprint region (1000–2000 cm−1) using the infrared free electron lasers at the Centre Laser Infrarouge d’Orsay (CLIO) facility in Orsay, France, and the free electron lasers for infrared experiments (FELIX) facility in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. A novel terminal ornithine lactam AO+ b2 + structure was synthesized for experimental comparison and spectroscopy confirms that the b2 + fragment ion from AOAA forms a lactam structure. Comparison of experimental spectra with scaled harmonic frequencies at the B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) level of theory shows that AO+ b2 + forms a terminal lactam protonated either on the lactam carbonyl oxygen or the N-terminal nitrogen atom. Several low-lying conformers of these isomers are likely populated following IRMPD dissociation. Similarly, a comparison of the experimental IRMPD spectrum with calculated spectra shows that AAO+ b3 +-ions also adopt a lactam structure, again with multiple different protonation sites, during fragmentation. This study provides spectroscopic confirmation for the lactam cyclization proposed for the “ornithine effect” and represents an alternative bn + structure to the oxazolone and diketopiperazine/macrocycle structures most often formed.
In drug discovery, it is important to identify phase I metabolic modifications as early as possible to screen for inactivation of drugs and/or activation of prodrugs. As the major class of reactions in phase I metabolism is oxidation reactions, oxidation of drugs with TiO2 photocatalysis can be used as a simple non-biological method to initially eliminate (pro)drug candidates with an undesired phase I oxidation metabolism. Analysis of reaction products is commonly achieved with mass spectrometry coupled to chromatography. However, sample throughput can be substantially increased by eliminating pretreatment steps and exploiting the potential of ambient ionization mass spectrometry (MS). Furthermore, online monitoring of reactions in a time-resolved way would identify sequential modification steps. Here, we introduce a novel (time-resolved) TiO2-photocatalysis laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) MS method for the analysis of drug candidates. This method was proven to be compatible with both TiO2-coated glass slides as well as solutions containing suspended TiO2 nanoparticles, and the results were in excellent agreement with studies on biological oxidation of verapamil, buspirone, testosterone, andarine, and ostarine. Finally, a time-resolved LAESI MS setup was developed and initial results for verapamil showed excellent analytical stability for online photocatalyzed oxidation reactions within the set-up up to at least 1 h.
As therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) become a major focus in biotechnology and a source of the next-generation drugs, new analytical methods or combination methods are needed for monitoring changes in higher order structure and effects of post-translational modifications. The complexity of these molecules and their vulnerability to structural change provide a serious challenge. We describe here the use of complementary mass spectrometry methods that not only characterize mutant mAbs but also may provide a general framework for characterizing higher order structure of other protein therapeutics and biosimilars. To frame the challenge, we selected members of the IgG2 subclass that have distinct disulfide isomeric structures as a model to evaluate an overall approach that uses ion mobility, top-down MS sequencing, and protein footprinting in the form of fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP). These three methods are rapid, sensitive, respond to subtle changes in conformation of Cys → Ser mutants of an IgG2, each representing a single disulfide isoform, and may be used in series to probe higher order structure. The outcome suggests that this approach of using various methods in combination can assist the development and quality control of protein therapeutics.
The NF-I*B transcription factors are known to be extensively phosphorylated, with dynamic site-specific modification regulating their ability to dimerize and interact with DNA. p50, the proteolytic product of p105 (NF-I*B1), forms homodimers that bind DNA but lack intrinsic transactivation function, functioning as repressors of transcription from I*B promoters. Here, we examine the roles of specific phosphorylation events catalysed by either protein kinase A (PKA.sub.c) or Chk1, in regulating the functions of p50 homodimers. LC-MS/MS analysis of proteolysed p50 following in vitro phosphorylation allows us to define Ser328 and Ser337 as PKA.sub.c- and Chk1-mediated modifications, and pinpoint an additional four Chk1 phosphosites: Ser65, Thr152, Ser242 and Ser248. Native mass spectrometry (MS) reveals Chk1- and PKA.sub.c-regulated disruption of p50 homodimer formation through Ser337. Additionally, we characterise the Chk1-mediated phosphosite, Ser242, as a regulator of DNA binding, with a S242D p50 phosphomimetic exhibiting a >10-fold reduction in DNA binding affinity. Conformational dynamics of phosphomimetic p50 variants, including S242D, are further explored using ion-mobility MS (IM-MS). Finally, comparative theoretical modelling with experimentally observed p50 conformers, in the absence and presence of DNA, reveals that the p50 homodimer undergoes conformational contraction during electrospray ionisation that is stabilised by complex formation with I*B DNA. (2) 0000 0004 1936 8470, grid.10025.36, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Crown Street, Liverpool, L69 7ZB, UK A correction to this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/s13361-019-02137-2.
Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is formed when organic molecules react with oxidants in the gas phase to form particulate matter. Recent measurements have shown that more than half of the mass of laboratory-generated SOA consists of high molecular weight oligomeric compounds. In this work, the formation mechanisms of oligomers produced in the laboratory by ozonolysis of α-pinene, an important SOA precursor in ambient air, are studied by MS and MS/MS measurements with high accuracy and resolving power to characterize monomer building blocks and the reactions that couple them together. The distribution of oligomers in an SOA sample is complex, typically yielding over 1000 elemental formulas that can be assigned from an electrospray ionization mass spectrum. Despite this complexity, MS/MS spectra can be found that give strong evidence for specific oligomer formation pathways that have been postulated but not confirmed. These include aldol and gem-diol reactions of carbonyls as well as peroxyhemiacetal formation from hydroperoxides. The strongest evidence for carbonyl reactions is in the formation of hydrated products. Less compelling evidence is found for dehydrated products and secondary ozonide formation. The number of times that a monomer building block is observed as a fragmentation product in the MS/MS spectra is shown to be independent of the monomer vapor pressure, suggesting that oligomer formation is not driven by equilibrium partitioning of a monomer between the gas and particle phases, but rather by reactive uptake where a monomer collides with the particle surface and rapidly forms an oligomer.