Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM vol:17 issue:12 pages:1366-79
A selective reversed-phase liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS(n)) method is described for the characterization of related compounds in commercial bacitracin samples. Mass spectral data for these polypeptide antibiotics were acquired on a LCQ ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionization probe operated in the positive and negative ion mode. The LCQ ion trap is ideally suited for the sequencing of those linear side-chain cyclized peptides because it provides on-line LC/MS(n) capability. Using this method bacitracin A, 1-epibacitracin A, bacitracins B(1), B(2), B(3) and bacitracin F were sequenced and previous sequencing was confirmed. Bacitracins C(1), C(2), C(3), D, H(2) and H(3) were resolved chromatographically and their ring portion was sequenced for the first time. Four components not described in the literature (1-epibacitracin B(1), 1-epibacitracin B(2), 1-epibacitracin C(1) and H(4)) were sequenced completely for the first time. The main advantage of this hyphenated LC/MS(n) technique is the characterization of the related substances without time-consuming isolation and purification procedures.