Studying interfacial reactions of cholesterol sulfate in an unsaturated phosphatidylglycerol layer with ozone using field induced droplet ionization mass spectrometry

J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2012 Jan;23(1):141-52. doi: 10.1007/s13361-011-0275-9. Epub 2011 Nov 9.


Field-induced droplet ionization (FIDI) is a recently developed ionization technique that can transfer ions from the surface of microliter droplets to the gas phase intact. The air-liquid interfacial reactions of cholesterol sulfate (CholSO(4)) in a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG) surfactant layer with ozone (O(3)) are investigated using field-induced droplet ionization mass spectrometry (FIDI-MS). Time-resolved studies of interfacial ozonolysis of CholSO(4) reveal that water plays an important role in forming oxygenated products. An epoxide derivative is observed as a major product of CholSO(4) oxidation in the FIDI-MS spectrum after exposure of the droplet to O(3) for 5 s. The abundance of the epoxide product then decreases with continued O(3) exposure as the finite number of water molecules at the air-liquid interface becomes exhausted. Competitive oxidation of CholSO(4) and POPG is observed when they are present together in a lipid surfactant layer at the air-liquid interface. Competitive reactions of CholSO(4) and POPG with O(3) suggest that CholSO(4) is present with POPG as a well-mixed interfacial layer. Compared with CholSO(4) and POPG alone, the overall ozonolysis rates of both CholSO(4) and POPG are reduced in a mixed layer, suggesting the double bonds of both molecules are shielded by additional hydrocarbons from one another. Molecular dynamics simulations of a monolayer comprising POPG and CholSO(4) correlate well with experimental observations and provide a detailed picture of the interactions between CholSO(4), lipids, and water molecules in the interfacial region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air
  • Cholesterol Esters / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Ozone / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Water


  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • Water
  • Ozone
  • 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylglycero-3-phosphoglycerol
  • cholesteryl sulfate