Determining Double Bond Position in Lipids Using Online Ozonolysis Coupled to Liquid Chromatography and Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry.

Harris RA, May JC, Stinson CA, Xia Y, McLean JA
Anal Chem. 2018 90 (3): 1915-1924

PMID: 29341601 · DOI:10.1021/acs.analchem.7b04007

The increasing focus on lipid metabolism has revealed a need for analytical techniques capable of structurally characterizing lipids with a high degree of specificity. Lipids can exist as any one of a large number of double bond positional isomers, which are indistinguishable by single-stage mass spectrometry alone. Ozonolysis reactions coupled to mass spectrometry have previously been demonstrated as a means for localizing double bonds in unsaturated lipids. Here we describe an online, solution-phase reactor using ozone produced via a low-pressure mercury lamp, which generates aldehyde products diagnostic of cleavage at a particular double bond position. This flow-cell device is utilized in conjunction with structurally selective ion mobility-mass spectrometry. The lamp-mediated reaction was found to be effective for multiple lipid species in both positive and negative ionization modes, and the conversion efficiency from precursor to product ions was tunable across a wide range (20-95%) by varying the flow rate through the ozonolysis device. Ion mobility separation of the ozonolysis products generated additional structural information and revealed the presence of saturated species in a complex mixture. The method presented here is simple, robust, and readily coupled to existing instrument platforms with minimal modifications necessary. For these reasons, application to standard lipidomic workflows is possible and aids in more comprehensive structural characterization of a myriad of lipid species.

MeSH Terms (10)

Animals Chickens Chromatography, Liquid Eggs Fatty Acids, Unsaturated Glycerophospholipids Isomerism Lipids Ozone Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization

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