Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2011 Jul;22(7):1242-51. doi: 10.1007/s13361-011-0126-8. Epub 2011 Apr 15.
LC/MS analysis of ribonucleosides is traditionally performed by reverse phase chromatography on silica based C18 type stationary phases using MS compatible buffers and methanol or acetonitrile gradients. Due to the hydrophilic and polar nature of nucleosides, down-scaling C18 analytical methods to a two-column nano-flow setup is inherently difficult. We present a nano-chip LC/MS ion-trap strategy for routine characterization of RNA nucleosides in the fmol range. Nucleosides were analyzed in positive ion mode by reverse phase chromatography using a 75 μ × 150 mm, 5 μ particle porous graphitic carbon (PGC) chip with an integrated 9 mm, 160 nL trapping column. Nucleosides were separated using a formic acid/acetonitrile gradient. The method was able to separate isobaric nucleosides as well as nucleosides with isotopic overlap to allow unambiguous MS( n ) identification on a low resolution ion-trap. Synthesis of 5-hydroxycytidine (oh(5)C) was achieved from 5-hydroxyuracil in a novel three-step enzymatic process. When operated in its native state using formic acid/acetonitrile, PGC oxidized oh(5)C to its corresponding glycols and formic acid conjugates. Reduction of the PGC stationary phase was achieved by flushing the chip with 2.5 mM oxalic acid and adding 1 mM oxalic acid to the online solvents. Analyzed under reduced chromatographic conditions oh(5)C was readily identified by its MH(+) m/z 260 and MS(n) fragmentation pattern. This investigation is, to our knowledge, the first instance where oxalic acid has been used as an online reducing agent for LC/MS. The method was subsequently used for complete characterization of nucleosides found in tRNAs using both PGC and C18 chips.
Address (URL): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21953107