We studied lacticin 481, a small lantibiotic with three lanthionine bridges, by electron capture dissociation (ECD) in a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometer. Following electron capture, very little fragmentation was observed, but species formed by nondissociative single and multiple electron capture were abundant. Ions formed by double electron capture were subjected to sustained off resonance irradiation collision induced dissociation (SORI-CID) to determine whether stable biradicals were formed. In the SORI-CID spectra of the ions formed by double electron capture, some, but minor, H-. radical loss was observed, which was not observed at all for regularly protonated ions. A small part of the ions formed by double electron capture are thus long-lived biradicals. Apart from the observed H-. loss, the SORI-CID spectra of ions that captured two electrons was similar to that of regularly protonated ions and quite different from the SORI-CID spectra of radical ions formed by single electron capture. This implies that recombination of the two radical sites is the dominant process in biradical lacticin 481 ions, at least on the time scale of our SORI-CID experiments.

J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom.

Kleinnijenhuis, A. J., Heck, A., Duursma, M. C., & Heeren, R. (2005). Does double electron capture lead to the formation of biradicals? An ECD-SORI-CID study on lacticin 481. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 16, 1595–1601. doi:10.1016/j.jasms.2005.05.010