Prominent molecular ions are generally observed in the field ionization (FI) mass spectra of unprotected nucleosides.2 In the one exception so far observed, that of guanosime, we found the simple methyl derivative, N2, N 2-dimethylguanosine, to afford an easily detectible molecular ion. The electron impact (El) mass spectrum of N2, N2 -dimethylguanosine also displayed a molecular ion and suggested that nucleoside methyl derivatives might be more easily studied by El methods. For this purpose and the more important objective of developing methods for sequencing small nucleic acid units by computer 3 assisted FI-El mass spectrometry, a program was initiated (1967) to explore permethylatloa of nucleosides. We believe protection by permethylatlon to be superior to pertrimethylsilylatlon and acetylation principally for reasons involving molecular weight and stability. Concurrently it was anticipated that such nucleoside methylation studies would afford routes to partially mathylated nucleosides of value in characterizing such components of virus and cellular DNA and RNA4. Subsequently, using variations of the methanol-DCCI5, diazomethane with various Lewis acids6, methyl iodide in, for example, dimethylsulfoxide7, methyl iodide-sodium hydride in dimethylformamide,8 methyl iodide-silver oxides9 and methyl iodidemethylsulfinyl carbanion in dimethylsulfoxide, 10 techniques were evaluated but none was found to provide permethyl nucleosides in high yield.11 The latter two methods have, however, been applied to methylating nucleosides for EI mass spectral investigations12.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry