Radical conversion and migration in electron capture dissociation

Benjamin N. Moore, Tony Ly, Ryan R. Julian (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Electron capture dissociation (ECD) is an important analytical technique which is used frequently in proteomics experiments to reveal information about both primary sequence and posttranslational modifications. Although the utility of ECD is unquestioned, the underlying chemistry which leads to the observed fragmentation is still under debate. Backbone dissociation is frequently the exclusive focus when mechanistic questions about ECD are posed, despite the fact that numerous other abundant dissociation channels exist. Herein, the focus is shifted to side chain loss and other dissociation channels which offer clues about the underlying mechanism(s). It is found that the initially formed hydrogen abundant radicals in ECD can convert quickly to hydrogen deficient radicals via a variety of pathways. Dissociation which occurs subsequent to this conversion is mediated by hydrogen deficient radical chemistry, which has been the subject of extensive study in experiments which are independent from ECD. Statistical analysis of fragments observed in ECD is in excellent agreement with predictions made by an understanding of hydrogen deficient radical chemistry. Furthermore, hydrogen deficient radical mediated dissociation likely contributes to observed ECD fragmentation patterns in unexpected ways, such as the selective dissociation observed at disulfide bonds. Many aspects of dissociation observed in ECD are easily reproduced in well-controlled experiments examining hydrogen deficient radicals generated by non-ECD methods. All of these observations indicate that when considering the means by which electron capture leads to dissociation, hydrogen deficient radical chemistry must be given careful consideration. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6997-7006
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2011


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