Terpenes are the largest class of natural products with a wide range of applications including use as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, flavorings, and agricultural products. Terpenes are biosynthesized by the condensation of a variable number of isoprene units resulting in linear polyisoprene diphosphate units, which can then be cyclized by terpene synthases into a range of complex structures. While these cyclic structures have immense diversity and potential in different applications, their direct analysis in biological buffer systems requires intensive sample preparation steps such as salt cleanup, extraction with organic solvents, and chromatographic separations. Electrospray post-ionization can be used to circumvent many sample cleanup and desalting steps. SESI and IR-MALDESI are two examples of ionization methods that employ electrospray post-ionization at atmospheric pressure and temperature. By coupling the two techniques and doping the electrospray solvent with silver ions, olefinic terpenes of different classes and varying degrees of volatility were directly analyzed from a biological buffer system with no sample workup steps.
Terpenes IR-MALDESI SESI Direct analysis Biological buffers Q Exactive Plus
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The authors also gratefully acknowledge financial assistance received from the National Institutes of Health grants R01GM087964 (MN, ME, DCM) and GM104258 (GJW), the W. M. Keck foundation, and North Carolina State University.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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