Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been utilized to study peptide ion conformer establishment during the electrospray process. An explicit water model is used for nanodroplets containing a model peptide and hydronium ions. Simulations are conducted at 300 K for two different peptide ion charge configurations and for droplets containing varying numbers of hydronium ions. For all conditions, modeling has been performed until production of the gas-phase ions and the resultant conformers have been compared to proposed gas-phase structures. The latter species were obtained from previous studies in which in silico candidate structures were filtered according to ion mobility and hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) reactivity matches. Results from the present study present three key findings namely (1) the evidence from ion production modeling supports previous structure refinement studies based on mobility and HDX reactivity matching, (2) the modeling of the electrospray process is significantly improved by utilizing initial droplets existing below but close to the calculated Rayleigh limit, and (3) peptide ions in the nanodroplets sample significantly different conformers than those in the bulk solution due to altered physicochemical properties of the solvent.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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