Fast atom bombardment combined with tandem mass spectrometry for the study of dinucleotides

Ronald L. Cerny, Michael L. Gross, Lutz Grotjahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


A study of mono- and dinucleotides by utilizing negative ion fast atom bombardment (FAB), metastable decomposition of (M-H)- species, and collisionally activated decomposition (CAD) of (M-H)- species is reported. Data were obtained for several complete series containing the standard nucleosides (guanosine, adenosine, cytidine, thymidine, and uridine): the 3′- and 5′-monophosphate mononucleotide series for both ribo- and 2′-deoxyribomononucleotides, all possible combinations for the 3′- → 5′-ribodinucleotides, and all possible combinations of the 3′- → 5′,2′-deoxyribodinucleotides. The metastable and CAD spectra provide more information than the FAB mass spectra. The (M-H)- ions of all dinucleotides decompose either as metastable ions or upon collisional activation to eliminate BH (B = base) preferentially from the 3′- rather than the 5′-terminus. Isomeric dinucleotides can be distinguished on the basis of this fragmentation. To establish the identity of the base at the 5′-terminus, collisional activation is preferred. By comparing relative abundances of BH elimination observed, the inherent basicities of the nucleoside base anions can be inferred to be C- > A-, T-, > G-.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-435
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1986


  • MS-MS
  • dinucleotides
  • fast atom bombardment
  • tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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