Table of Contents
International Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2012, Article ID 472031, 10 pages
Research Article

Combination of LC-MS2 and GC-MS as a Tool to Differentiate Oxidative Metabolites of Zearalenone with Different Chemical Structures

1Institute of Applied Biosciences, Chair of Food Chemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Adenauerring 20a, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
2Department of General-, Visceral- and Transplantation Surgery, Charité University, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Received 25 October 2011; Accepted 20 February 2012

Academic Editor: Hakan Arslan

Copyright © 2012 Andreas A. Hildebrand et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent studies on the mammalian and fungal metabolism of the mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEN) have disclosed the formation of six regioisomers of monohydroxy-ZEN and its reductive metabolite zearalenol (ZEL). Hydroxylation occurs at the aromatic ring or at one of four positions of the aliphatic macrocycle. In addition, an aliphatic ZEN epoxide, its hydrolysis product, and other products were identified in fungal cultures. In this paper, we report the product ion spectra of the [M-H] ions of 22 oxidative metabolites of ZEN and ZEL, obtained by LC-MS2 analysis using a linear ion trap mass spectrometer with negative electrospray ionization. The MS2 spectra exhibit qualitative and quantitative differences which allow a clear distinction of most metabolites. Moreover, GC-MS analysis of the trimethylsilylated metabolites yields electron impact mass spectra with numerous fragment ions which can be used as fingerprint to confirm the chemical structure derived by LC-MS2 analysis.