Collision-induced dissociation studies of caffeine in positive electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry using six deuterated isotopomers and one N1-ethylated homologue
RATIONALE In order to deepen the understanding of electrospray ionisation collision-induced dissociation (ESI-CID) fragmentation reactions of xanthine derivatives for the identification of metabolites using low-resolution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis, basic experiments using caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) as model compound have been performed. METHODS Six deuterium isotopomers and one N1-ethylated homologue of caffeine have been synthesized and their ESI fragmentation spectra have been obtained by using LC/MS in combination with either standard or perdeuterated eluent mixtures. RESULTS One result of these studies is the finding that the positive charges of the ESI-CID caffeine fragments are caused by the addition of protons. Furthermore, the performed experiments allow the determination of all molecular formulae of each ESI-CID caffeine fragment. CONCLUSIONS As basic CID reactions of caffeine have been elucidated in this work, the developed fragmentation scheme may serve as a valuable tool for the interpretation of ESI-CID fragmentation spectra of more complex xanthine derivatives and their respective metabolites. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.