Insights from ion mobility-mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide structural dynamics: NAD + vs. NADH

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2018 Mar 7;20(10):7043-7052. doi: 10.1039/c7cp05602h.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is found in all living cells where the oxidized (NAD+) and reduced (NADH) forms play important roles in many enzymatic reactions. However, little is known about NAD+ and NADH conformational changes and kinetics as a function of the cell environment. In the present work, an analytical workflow is utilized to study NAD+ and NADH dynamics as a function of the organic content in solution using fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy and in the gas-phase using trapped ion mobility spectrometry coupled to mass spectrometry (TIMS-MS) and infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) spectroscopy. NAD solution time decay studies showed a two-component distribution, assigned to changes from a "close" to "open" conformation with the increase of the organic content. NAD gas-phase studies using nESI-TIMS-MS displayed two ion mobility bands for NAD+ protonated and sodiated species, while four and two ion mobility bands were observed for NADH protonated and sodiated species, respectively. Changes in the mobility profiles were observed for NADH as a function of the starting solution conditions and the time after desolvation, while NAD+ profiles showed no dependence. IRMPD spectroscopy of NAD+ and NADH protonated species in the 800-1800 and 3200-3700 cm-1 spectral regions showed common and signature bands between the NAD forms. Candidate structures were proposed for NAD+ and NADH kinetically trapped intermediates of the protonated and sodiated species, based on their collision cross sections and IR profiles. Results showed that NAD+ and NADH species exist in open, stack, and closed conformations and that the driving force for conformational dynamics is hydrogen bonding of the N-H-O and O-H-O forms with ribose rings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Kinetics
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation*
  • NAD / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared


  • NAD