Rapid identification of Acronychia-type acetophenones in Acronychia pednculata using an UPLC-ESI-MS/MS platform
Utilization of Acronychia species in traditional medicine has caused great interest in their chemical investigation. Prenylated acetophenone dimers (Acronychia-type acetophenones), especially acrovestone and other derivatives, have been reported as chemotaxonomic markers of the genus and as significant cytotoxic principals. However, their structure elucidation using MS methodologies have not been reported up to now. In this study, a UPLC-HRMS/MS method using ESI and APCI ionization sources, in both modes, utilizing an Orbitap analyzer was developed for the initial detection and analysis of Acronychia-type acetophenones in the extracts of Acronychia pedunculata. Furthermore, a multi-level MS approach involving HRMSn and data dependent acquisitions was employed for the characterization of diagnostic ion peaks and the determination of fragmentation pathways of Acronychia-type acetophenones. The fragmentation mechanism of specific dimers is proposed using literature data and Mass Frontier software.