Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1959-1966

First online:

Fragmentation of protonated dipeptides containing arginine. Effect of activation method

  • Matthew W. ForbesAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Toronto
  • , Rebecca A. JockuschAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Toronto
  • , Alex B. YoungAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Toronto
  • , Alex G. HarrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Toronto Email author 


The fragmentation reactions of the protonated dipeptides Gly-Arg and Arg-Gly have been studied using collision-induced dissociation (CID) in a quadrupole ion trap, by in-source CID in a single-quadrupole mass spectrometer and by CID in the quadrupole cell of a QqTOF mass spectrometer. In agreement with earlier quadrupole ion trap studies (Farrugia, J. M.; O’Hair, R. A. J., Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 2003, 222, 229), the CID mass spectra obtained with the ion trap for the MH+ ions and major fragment ions are very similar for the two isomers indicating rearrangement to a common structure before fragmentation. In contrast, in-source CID of the MH+ ions and QqTOF CID of the MH+, [MH − NH3]+ and [MH <23 HN = C(NH2)2]+ ions provide distinctly different spectra for the isomeric dipeptides, indicating that rearrangement to a common structure has not occurred to a significant extent under these conditions even near the threshold for fragmentation in the QqTOF instrument. Clearly, under normal operating conditions significantly different fragmentation behavior is observed in the ion trap and beam-type experiments. This different behavior probably can be attributed to the shorter observation times and concomitant higher excitation energies in the in-source and QqTOF experiments compared to the long observation times and lower excitation energies relevant to the ion trap experiments. Based largely on elemental compositions derived from accurate mass measurements in QqTOF studies fragmentation schemes are proposed for the MH+, [MH − NH3]+, and [MH − (HN = C(NH2)2)]+ ions.