2017 journal article
Mass spectrometric detection of chlorophyll a and the tetrapyrrole secondary metabolite tolyporphin A in the filamentous cyanobacterium HT-58-2. Approaches to high-throughput screening of intact cyanobacteria
JOURNAL OF PORPHYRINS AND PHTHALOCYANINES, 21(11), 759–768.
Tolyporphins are unusual tetrapyrrole macrocycles produced by the filamentous cyanobacterium–microbial community HT-58-2, the only known source to date. Numerous cyanobacterial samples have been collected worldwide but most have not been screened for secondary metabolites. Identification of tolyporphins typically has entailed lipophilic extraction followed by chromatographic fractionation and spectroscopic and/or mass spectrometric analysis. For quantitation, lengthy lipophilic extraction, sample processing and HPLC separation are needed. Examination by MALDI-TOF-MS (with the matrix 1,5-diaminonaphthalene) of lipophilic crude extracts of small-scale HT-58-2 samples (2 mL) without chromatographic fractionation enabled semi-quantitation of tolyporphin A over a 41-day growth period. Screening for tolyporphin A in intact or slightly sheared and vortexed HT-58-2 samples (no lipophilic extraction), and confirmation of identity by tandem MS, were carried out by IR-MALDESI-FTMS. Tolyporphin A was identified by the molecular ion and four characteristic fragments. The molecular ion of chlorophyll [Formula: see text] also was observed. The sheared and vortexed sample contained substantial numbers of intact cells as demonstrated by regrowth of the filamentous cyanobacterium–microbial culture. The semi-quantitative and rapid qualitative methods developed herein should facilitate examination of other tolyporphin-producing organisms among the vast worldwide strains of cyanobacteria as well as investigation of the biosynthesis of tolyporphins.