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Selective Removal of Alkali Metal Cations from Multiply-Charged Ions via Gas-Phase Ion/Ion Reactions Using Weakly Coordinating Anions


Selective removal of alkali metal cations from mixed cation multiply-charged peptide ions is demonstrated here using gas-phase ion/ion reactions with a series of weakly coordinating anions (WCAs), including hexafluorophosphate (PF6 (-)), tetrakis[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]borate (BARF), tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl)borate (TPPB), and carborane (CHB11Cl11 (-)). In all cases, a long-lived complex is generated by dication/anion condensation followed by ion activation to compare proton transfer with alkali ion transfer from the peptide to the anion. The carborane anion was the only anion studied to undergo dissociation exclusively through loss of the metallated anion, regardless of the studied metal adduct. All other anions studied yield varying abundances of protonated and metallated peptide depending on the peptide sequence and the metal identity. Density functional theory calculations suggest that for the WCAs studied, metal ion transfer is most strongly favored thermodynamically, which is consistent with the experimental results. The carborane anion is demonstrated to be a robust reagent for the selective removal of alkali metal cations from peptide cations with mixtures of excess protons and metal cations.

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