Axinastatin 3 as a potential anticancer agent was synthesized by chemical methods. In an electrospray ion-trap mass spectrometer, using one stage of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), the linear peptide intermediate was sequenced via the complementarities of y and b ions. Then, using multistep MS/MS (to MS6), the cyclic peptide was sequenced through sequentially removing one amino acid residue in each stage of MS/MS. The difference of the fragmentation mechanisms and the sequencing approaches between them is discussed.
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