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Alkali metal-cationized serine clusters studied by sonic spray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Publication Date
Volume
18
Issue
5
Pages
856–868
Identifiers
PMID: 17346986
Source
Medline

Abstract

Serine solutions containing salts of alkali metals yield magic number clusters of the type (Ser(4)+C)(+), (Ser(8)+C)(+), (Ser(12)+C)(+), and (Ser(17)+2C)(+2) (where C = Li(+), Na(+), K(+), Rb(+), or Cs(+)), in relative abundances which are strongly dependent on the cation size. Strong selectivity for homochirality is involved in the formation of serine tetramers cationized by K(+), Rb(+), and Cs(+). This is also the case for the octamers cationized by the smaller alkalis but there is a strong preference for heterochirality in the octamers cationized by the larger alkali cations. Tandem mass spectrometry shows that the octamers and dodecamers cationized by K(+), Rb(+), and Cs(+) dissociate mainly by the loss of Ser(4) units, suggesting that the neutral tetramers are the stable building blocks of the observed larger aggregates, (Ser(8)+C)(+) and (Ser(12)+C)(+). Remarkably, although the Ser(4) units are formed with a strong preference for homochirality, they aggregate further regardless of their handedness and, therefore, with a preference for the nominally racemic 4D:4L structure and an overall strong heterochiral preference. The octamers cationized by K(+), Rb(+), or Cs(+) therefore represent a new type of cluster ion that is homochiral in its internal subunits, which then assemble in a random fashion to form octamers. We tentatively interpret the homochirality of these tetramers as a consequence of assembly of the serine molecules around a central metal ion. The data provide additional evidence that the neutral serine octamer is homochiral and is readily cationized by smaller ions.

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