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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biosynthesis of melanin from dopamine. An investigation of early oligomerization products.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and fast-atom bombardment ( FAB) mass spectrometry experiments were applied to the study of the early stages of the oligomerization reaction of dopamine with mushroom tyrosinase. Ultrafiltration was employed to remove the enzyme at various reaction times, to prevent possible attachment of the protein to the highly reactive intermediates. Two sets of five samples each, obtained at different reaction times, in one case immediately lyophilized and in the other left to react under an oxygen stream for 24 h before lyophilization, were compared. FAB showed the presence of various species and of these, that at m/z 305 increased in abundance with reaction time in immediately lyophilized set of samples only. Accurate mass measurements and tandem mass spectrometric experiments indicated the structure of a dopamine protonated dimer for this ion. MALDI measurements showed that all samples were composed of clusters of oligomers differing in degree of oligomerization. Oligomerization increases with reaction time, resulting in the formation of species at 2643-2911 Da. These clusters in turn were formed of species with a different degree of oxidation, detected in both sets of samples.[1]


  1. Biosynthesis of melanin from dopamine. An investigation of early oligomerization products. Bertazzo, A., Costa, C., Allegri, G., Seraglia, R., Traldi, P. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. (1995) [Pubmed]
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