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Identification of unsaturated N-acylhomoserine lactones in bacterial isolates of Rhodobacter sphaeroides by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization-hybrid linear ion trap-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
1097-0231
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Volume
25
Issue
13
Pages
1817–1826
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/rcm.5054
PMID: 21638357
Source
Medline

Abstract

The identification of two unsaturated N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) produced by Rhodobacter sphaeroides bacteria, based on liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to a hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap (LTQ)-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometer upon electrospray ionization (ESI), is presented. Besides the confirmation of the signaling molecule already described in the literature, i.e. (Z)-N-tetradec-7-enoyl-homoserine lactone (C(14:1)-HSL), we have discovered the occurrence, at low, yet significant levels, of another monounsaturated compound, C(12:1) -HSL, which may extend the number of small diffusible chemical signals known for R. sphaeroides. Both unsaturated AHLs were identified by high-resolution FTICR mass spectrometry in extracts of bacterial culture media and the occurrence of a C=C bond was assessed upon their conversion into bromohydrins. Collision-induced dissociation (CID) spectra were then collected on the LTQ mass analyzer. A careful comparison of tandem MS spectra of monounsaturated (i.e., C(12:1)-HSL and C(14:1)-HSL) and saturated AHLs (i.e. C(12)-HSL and C(14)-HSL) led to the emphasis of two series of product ions, exhibiting 14 Da spaced m/z ratios. Both series were referred to progressive fragmentations at the aliphatic end of the AHL acyl chains, followed by neutral losses of terminal alkenes (i.e. CH(2)=CH(CH(2))(n)H). In particular, the series located at the higher end of the explored m/z range (>200 Da), observed only for monounsaturated species, enabled the location of the C=C bond between carbons 7 and 8 of the acyl chain.

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