The dissociation kinetics of a series of doubly deprotonated oligonucleotide 7-mers [d(A)72−, d(AATTAAT)2−, d(TTAATTA)2−, and d(CCGGCCG)2−] were measured using blackbody infrared radiative dissociation in a Fourier-transform mass spectrometer. The oligonucleotides dissociate first by cleavage at the glycosidic bond leading to the loss of a neutral nucleobase, followed by cleavage at the adjacent (5′) phosphodiester bond to produce structurally informative a-base and w type ions. From the temperature dependence of the unimolecular dissociation rate constants, Arrhenius activation parameters in the zero-pressure limit are obtained for the loss of base. The measured Arrhenius parameters are dependent on the identity of the nucleobase. The process involving the loss of an adenine base from the dianions, d(A)72−, d(AATTAAT)2−, and d(TTAATTA)2− has an average activation energy (Ea) of ∼1.0 eV and a preexponential factor (A) of 1010 s−1. Both guanine and cytosine base loss occurs for d(CCGGCCG)2−. The average Arrhenius parameters for the loss of cytosine and guanine are Ea=1.32 ± 0.03 eV and A=1013.3±0.3 s−1. No loss of thymine was observed for mixed adenine-thymine oligonucleotides. Neither base loss nor any other fragmentation reactions occur for d(T)72− over a 600 s reaction delay at 207 °C, a temperature close to the upper limit accessible with our instrument. The Arrhenius parameters indicate that the preferred cleavage sites for mixed oligonucleotides of similar mass-to-charge ratio will be strongly dependent on the internal energy of the precursor ions. At low internal energies (effective temperatures below 475 K), loss of adenine and subsequent cleavage of the adjacent phosphoester bonds will dominate, whereas at higher energies, preferential cleavage at C and G residues will occur. The magnitude of the A factors ≤1013 s−1 measured for the loss of the three nucleobases (A, G, and C) is indicative of an entropically neutral or disfavored process as the rate limiting step for this reaction.
Arrhenius Parameter Dissociation Rate Constant Base Loss Reaction Delay Oligonucleotide Anion
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