Publication Details

Marshall, D. L., Pham, H. T., Bhujel, M., Chin, J. S. R., Yew, J. Y., Mori, K., Mitchell, T. W. & Blanksby, S. J. (2016). Sequential collision- and ozone-induced dissociation enables assignment of relative acyl chain position in triacylglycerols. Analytical Chemistry, 88 (5), 2685-2692.


Unambiguous identification of isomeric lipids by mass spectrometry represents a significant analytical challenge in contemporary lipidomics. Herein, the combination of collision-induced dissociation (CID) with ozone-induced dissociation (OzID) on an ion-trap mass spectrometer is applied to the identification of triacylglycerol (TG) isomers that vary only by the substitution pattern of fatty acyl (FA) chains esterified to the glycerol backbone. Isolated product ions attributed to loss of a single FA arising from CID of [TG + Na]+ ions react rapidly with ozone within the ion trap. The resulting CID/OzID spectra exhibit abundant ions that unequivocally reveal the relative position of FAs along the backbone. Isomeric TGs containing two or three different FA substituents are readily differentiated by diagnostic ions present in their CID/OzID spectra. Compatibility of this method with chromatographic separations enables the characterization of unusual TGs containing multiple short-chain FAs present in Drosophila.

Grant Number

ARC/DP150101715, ARC/LP110200648