Resolving Sphingolipid Isomers using Cryogenic Infrared Spectroscopy
Kirschbaum, C.; Saied, E.M.; Greis, K.; Mucha, E.; Gewinner, S.; Schöllkopf, W.; Meijer, G.; von Helden, G.; Poad, B.L.J.; Blanksby, S.J.; Arenz, C.; Pagel, K.* – 2020
1‐Deoxysphingolipids are a recently described class of sphingolipids, which have been shown to be associated with several disease states including diabetic and hereditary neuropathy. The identification and characterization of 1‐deoxysphingolipids and their metabolites is therefore highly important. However, exact structure determination requires a combination of sophisticated analytical techniques due to the presence of various isomers, such as ketone/alkenol isomers, carbon‐carbon double bond (C=C) isomers and hydroxylation‐regioisomers. Here we demonstrate that cryogenic gas‐phase infrared (IR) spectroscopy of ionized 1‐deoxysphingolipids enables the identification and differentiation of isomers by their unique spectroscopic fingerprints. In particular, C=C bond positions and stereochemical configurations can be distinguished by specific interactions between the charged amine and the double bond. The results demonstrate the power of gas‐phase IR spectroscopy to overcome the challenge of isomer resolution in conventional mass spectrometry and pave the way for deeper analysis of the lipidome.