A novel mass spectrometry (MS)-based lipidomics strategy that exposes glycerophospholipids to an ethereal solution of diazomethane and acid, derivatizing them to contain a net fixed, permanent positive charge, is described. The sensitivity of modified lipids to MS detection is enhanced via improved ionization characteristics as well as consolidation of ion dissociation to form one or two strong, characteristic polar headgroup fragments. Our strategy has been optimized to enable a priori prediction of ion fragmentation patterns for four subclasses of modified glycerophospholipid species. Our method enables analyte ionization regardless of proton affinity, thereby decreasing ion suppression and permitting predictable precursor ion-based quantitation with improved sensitivity in comparison to MS-based methods that are currently used on unmodified lipid precursors.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1021/ac501588y
Journal Analytical Chemistry
Wasslen, K.V. (Karl V.), Canez, C.R. (Carlos R.), Lee, H. (Hyunmin), Manthorpe, J.M, & Smith, J. C. (2014). Trimethylation enhancement using diazomethane (TrEnDi) II: Rapid in-solution concomitant quaternization of glycerophospholipid amino groups and methylation of phosphate groups via reaction with diazomethane significantly enhances sensitivity in mass spectrometry analyses via a fixed, permanent positive charge. Analytical Chemistry, 86(19), 9523–9532. doi:10.1021/ac501588y