Mass Spectral Behavior of the Hydrolysis Products of Sesqui- and Oxy-Mustard Type Chemical Warfare Agents in Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization

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Abstract

Bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)alkanes and bis(2-hydroxyethylthioalkyl)ethers are important biological and environmental degradation products of sulfur mustard analogs known as sesqui- and oxy-mustards. We used atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (APCI MS) to acquire characteristic spectra of these compounds in positive and negative ionization modes. Positive APCI mass spectra exhibited [M + H]+; negative APCI MS generated [M + O2]-, [M - H]-, and [M - 3H]-; and both positive and negative APCI mass spectra contained fragment ions due to in-source collision-induced dissociation. Product ion scans confirmed the origin of fragment ions observed in single-stage MS. Although the spectra of these compounds were very similar, positive and negative APCI mass spectra of the oxy-mustard hydrolysis product, bis(2-hydroxyethylthiomethyl)ether, differed from the spectra of the other compounds in a manner that suggested a rearrangement to the sesqui-mustard hydrolysis product, bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)methane. We evaluated the [M + O2]- adduct ion for quantification via liquid chromatography-MS/MS in the multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mode by constructing calibration curves from three precursor/product ion transitions for all the analytes. Analytical figures of merit generated from the calibration curves indicated the stability and suitability of these transitions for quantification at concentrations in the low ng/mL range. Thus, we are the first to propose a quantitative method predicated on the measurement of product ions generated from the superoxide adduct anion of the sesqui-and oxy-mustard hydrolysis products. © 2007 American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

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Lemire, S. W., Ash, D. H., Johnson, R. C., & Barr, J. R. (2007). Mass Spectral Behavior of the Hydrolysis Products of Sesqui- and Oxy-Mustard Type Chemical Warfare Agents in Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 18(8), 1364–1374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasms.2007.04.016

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