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Title: Dissociation of alkaliated alanine in the gas phase : the role of the metal cation
Authors: Abirami, S
Wong, CCL
Tsang, CW
Ma, NL
Issue Date: 2005
Source: Chemistry - a European journal, 2005, v. 11, no. 18, p. 5289-5301
Abstract: The dissociation of prototypical metal-cationized amino acid complexes, namely, alkaliated alanine ([Ala+M]+, M+=Li+, Na+, K+), was studied by energy-resolved tandem mass spectrometry with an ion-trap mass analyzer and by density functional theory. Dissociation leads to formation of fragment ions arising from the loss of small neutrals, such as H2O, CO, NH3, (CO+NH3), and the formation of Na+/K+. The order of appearance threshold voltages for different dissociation pathways determined experimentally is consistent with the order of critical energies (energy barriers) obtained theoretically, and this provides the necessary confidence in both experimental and theoretical results. Although not explicitly involved in the reaction, the alkali metal cation plays novel and important roles in the dissociation of alkaliated alanine. The metal cation not only catalyzes the dissociation (via the formation of loosely bound ion?molecule complexes and by stabilizing the more polar intermediates and transition structures), but also affects the dissociation mechanisms, as the cation can alter the shape of the potential energy surfaces. This compression/expansion of the potential energy surface as a function of the alkali metal cation is discussed in detail, and how this affects the competitive loss of H2O versus CO/(CO+NH3) from [Ala+M]+ is illustrated. The present study provides new insights into the origin of the competition between various dissociation channels of alkaliated amino acid complexes.
Keywords: Alkali metals
Amino acids
Density functional calculations
Ion fragmentation
Mass spectrometry
Publisher: Wiley-VCH
Journal: Chemistry - a European journal 
ISSN: 0947-6539
EISSN: 1521-3765
DOI: 10.1002/chem.200400816
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