Threshold dissociation and molecular modeling of transition metal complexes of flavonoids

Junmei Zhang, Jennifer S. Brodbelt, Junmei Wang

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50 Scopus citations


The relative threshold dissociation energies of a series of flavonoid/transition metal/auxiliary ligand complexes of the type [M II (flavonoid - H) auxiliary ligand]+ formed by electrospray ionization (ESI) were measured by energy-variable collisionally activated dissociation (CAD) in a quadrupole ion trap (QIT). For each of the isomeric flavonoid diglycoside pairs, the rutinoside (with a 1-6 inter-saccharide linkage) requires a greater CAD energy and thus has a higher dissociation threshold than its neohesperidoside (with a 1-2 inter-saccharide linkage) isomer. Likewise, the threshold energies of complexes containing flavones are higher than those containing flavanones. The monoglycoside isomers also have characteristic threshold energies. The flavonoids that are glycosylated at the 3-O- position tend to have lower threshold energies than those glycosylated at the 7-O- or 4′-O- position, and those that are C- bonded have lower threshold energies than the O- bonded isomers. The structural features that substantially influence the threshold energies include the aglycon type (flavanone versus flavone), the type of disaccharide (rutinose versus neohesperidose), and the linkage type (O- bonded versus C- bonded). Various computational means were applied to probe the structures and conformations of the complexes and to rationalize the differences in threshold energies of isomeric flavonoids. The most favorable coordination geometry of the complexes has a plane-angle of about 62°, which means that the deprotonated flavonoid and 2,2′-bipyridine within a complex do not reside on the same plane. Stable conformations of five cobalt complexes and five deprotonated flavonoids were identified. The conformations were combined with the point charges and helium accessible surface areas to explain qualitatively the differences in threshold energies for isomeric flavonoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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