Electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry methods for the analysis of DNA and DNA/drug complexes
Smith, Suncerae I.
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Many anticancer therapies are based on the interaction of small molecule drugs with nucleic acids, particularly DNA. Electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry has established itself as an irreplaceable tool for the characterization of DNA adducts produced by alkylating agents, carcinogens, and antitumor drugs, in addition to the characterization of nucleic acid post-transcriptional modifications. ESI-MS was used to assess the non-covalent binding of a novel series of intercalating anthrapyrazoles to duplexes containing different sequences. Relative binding affinities paralleled the shift in melting point of the DNA duplexes measured from a previous study. Upon collisionally induced dissociation of the duplex/anthrapyrazole complexes, different binding strengths were discerned based on the fragmentation patterns. In addition, the interactions of a new series of sulfur-containing acridine ligands, some that functioned as alklyating mustards, with duplex DNA were also evaluated. Non-covalent and covalent binding of each ligand was determined, and the site of adduction (G > A) was revealed for the covalent modifications. The distribution of cross-linked products and mono-adducts by psoralen analogs was also monitored by both LC-UV and IRMPD-MS methods. Reactions at 5’-TA sites were favored over 5’-AT sites. The sites of interstrand cross-linking were determined by fragmentation of the duplex/psoralen complexes by infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD). Ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) at 193 nm caused efficient charge reduction of deprotonated oligodeoxynucleotides via electron detachment. Subsequent CID of the charge-reduced oligodeoxynucleotides formed upon electron detachment, in a net process called electron photodetachment dissociation (EPD), resulted in a diverse array of abundant sequence ions which allowed the modification site(s) of three modified oligodeoxynucleotides to be pinpointed to a more specific location than by conventional CID. Electron transfer dissociation (ETD) caused efficient charge reduction of multi-protonated oligonucleotides. Subsequent CAD of the charge-reduced oligonucleotides formed upon electron transfer, in a net process termed electron transfer collision activated dissociation (ETcaD), resulted in rich backbone fragmentation, with a marked decrease in the abundance of base loss ions and internal fragments. ETcaD of an oligonucleotide duplex resulted in specific backbone cleavages, with conservation of weaker non-covalent bonds. In addition, IRMPD and UVPD were used to activate charge-reduced oligonucleotides formed upon electron transfer. ET-IRMPD afforded tunable characterization of the modified DNA and RNA, allowing for modified bases to be directly analyzed. ET-UVPD promoted higher energy backbone fragmentation pathways and created the most diverse MS/MS spectra. The numerous products generated by the hybrid MS/MS techniques (ETcaD, ET-IRMPD, and ET-UVPD) resulted in specific and extensive backbone cleavages which allowed for the modification sites of multiple oligonucleotides to be pinpointed.