Organomercury Bioconjugate Synthesis and Characterization by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Bioconjugate Chemistry


Peptides and proteins, Monomers, Mercury, Chemical biology, Conjugate acid-base pairs


Synthesis of an organomercury hapten and conjugation of the hapten to proteins and peptides is described. Starting with allylamine, synthesis of the organomercury hapten was completed in five steps using readily available and inexpensive reagents. The key transformation in the synthesis, intramolecular oxymercuration, was achieved in good yield and under mild conditions. Hapten conjugation was afforded via disuccinimide active ester coupling chemistry, and the resulting conjugates were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). To exploit the accurate mass measuring capabilities of MALDI-MS, the conjugates were digested with trypsin prior to analysis. The masses of the peptides resulting from tryptic digestion of the organomercury conjugates were accurately measured, and five hapten attachments were identified in the mass range of 1000−2200 m/z. The organomercury bioconjugate synthesized in this study was designed to contain a stable carbon−metal bond, constituting an underutilized approach for preparing protein−metal complexes and may result in mAbs consisting of unique recognition capabilities.


Copyright © 2003 American Chemical Society