5 years ago

Distinguishing Cis and Trans Isomers in Intact Complex Lipids Using Electron Impact Excitation of Ions from Organics Mass Spectrometry

Distinguishing Cis and Trans Isomers in Intact Complex Lipids Using Electron Impact Excitation of Ions from Organics Mass Spectrometry
J. C. Yves Le Blanc, Takashi Baba, J. Larry Campbell, Paul R. S. Baker
We present a mass spectrometry-based method for the identification of cis and trans double-bond isomers within intact complex lipid mixtures using electron impact excitation of ions from organics (EIEIO) mass spectrometry. EIEIO involves irradiating singly charged lipid ions with electrons having kinetic energies of 5–16 eV. The resulting EIEIO spectra can be used to discern cis and trans double-bond isomers by virtue of the differences in the fragmentation patterns at the carbon–carbon single bonds neighboring the double bonds. For trans double bonds, these characteristic fragments include unique closed-shell and open-shell (radical) products. To explain this fragmentation pattern in trans double bonds, we have proposed a reaction mechanism involving excitation of the double bond’s π electrons followed by hydrogen atom rearrangement. Several lipid standards were analyzed using the EIEIO method, including mixtures of these standards. Prior to EIEIO, some of the lipid species in these mixtures were separated from their isomeric forms by using differential mobility spectrometry (DMS). For example, mixed cis and trans forms of triacylglycerols and phosphatidylcholines were identified by this DMS–EIEIO workflow. With this combined gas-phase separation and subsequent fragmentation, we could eliminate the need for authentic standards for identification. When DMS could not separate cis and trans isomers completely, as was the case with sphingomyelins, we relied upon the aforementioned diagnostic EIEIO fragment peaks to determine the relative contribution of the trans double-bond isomer in the mixed samples. We also applied the DMS–EIEIO methodology to natural samples extracted from a ruminant (bovine), which serve as common origins of trans fatty acids in a typical Western diet that includes dairy products.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04734

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04734

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