Divalent metal ion-peptide interactions probed by electron capture dissociation of trications.

Research paper by Haichuan H Liu, Kristina K Håkansson

Indexed on: 06 Sep '06Published on: 06 Sep '06Published in: Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry


Electron capture dissociation (ECD) of the peptide Substance P (SubP) complexed with divalent metals has been investigated. ECD of [SubP + H + M]3+ (M2+ = Mg2+ -Ba2+ and Mn2+ -Zn2+) allowed observation of a larger number of product ions than previous investigations of doubly charged metal-containing peptides. ECD of Mg-Ba, Mn, Fe, and Zn-containing complexes resulted in product ions with and without the metal from cleavage of backbone amine bonds (c' and z* -type ions). By contrast, ECD of Co and Ni-containing complexes yielded major bond cleavages within the C-terminal methionine residue (likely to be the metal ion binding site). Cu-containing complexes displayed yet another behavior: amide bond cleavage (b and y'-type ions). We believe some results can be rationalized both within the hot hydrogen atom mechanism and mechanisms involving electron capture into excited states, such as the recently proposed amide superbase mechanism. However, some behavior, including formation of (cn 'M - H)+ ions for Ca-Ba, is best explained within the latter mechanisms with initial electron capture at the metal. In addition, the ECD behavior appears to correlate with the metal second ionization energy (IE2). Co and Ni (displaying sequestered fragmentation) have IE2s of 17.1 and 18.2 eV, respectively, whereas IE2s for Mg-Ba, Mn, and Fe (yielding random cleavage) are 10.0 to 16.2 eV. This behavior is difficult to explain within the hot hydrogen atom mechanism because hydrogen transfer should not be influenced by IE2s. However, the drastically different fragmentation patterns for Co, Ni, and Cu compared to the other metals can also be explained by their higher propensity for nitrogen (as opposed to oxygen) binding. Nevertheless, these results imply that directed fragmentation can be accomplished via careful selection of the cationizing agent.