β-carboline and canthinone alkaloids are widely distributed in the Angiosperms. Due to their diverse biological activities, the structures of these alkaloids have been used as important models for the synthesis of novel therapeutic drugs. Combining high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) has provided a valuable tool in the analysis of these alkaloids in, for example, plants, insects, marine creatures, human tissues and body fluids. In this review, we summarized the main β-carboline and canthinone alkaloids studied by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) associated with mass analyzers, molecular weight information, mass fragmentation and biological activities, presenting an overview of increasing interest for carboline alkaloids study by LC-HRMS.
Part of the book: Mass Spectrometry