Author(s): Cardozo KH, Carvalho VM, Pinto E, Colepicolo P
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Abstract The determination and identification of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) from algae remain a major challenge due to the low concentration. Mass spectrometry (MS) can make an invaluable contribution in the search and identification of MAAs because of its high sensitivity, possibility of coupling with liquid chromatography, and the availability of powerful tandem mass spectrometric techniques. However, the unequivocal determination of the presence and location of important functional groups present on the basic skeleton of the MAAs is often elusive due to their inherent instability under MS conditions. In this study, the use of hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange and electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) for characterisation of four MAAs (palythine, asterina, palythinol and shinorine) isolated from the macroalgae Gracilaria tenuistipitata Chang et Xia was investigated. The accurate-mass confirmation of the protonated molecules was performed on a Q-TOF instrument. We demonstrate that employing deuterium labelling in ESI-MS/MS analysis provides a convenient tool for the determination of new MAAs. Although the fragmentation patterns of MAAs were discussed earlier, to our knowledge, this is the first time that mechanisms are proposed.
This article was published in Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology