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Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization coupled with quadrupole/orthogonal acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometry for protein discovery, identification, and structural analysis



Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization coupled with quadrupole/orthogonal acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometry for protein discovery, identification, and structural analysis



Analytical Chemistry 73(8): 1707-1720



The design and operation of a novel UV-MALDI ionization source on a commercial QqoaTOF mass spectrometer (Applied Biosystem/MDS Sciex QSTAR Pulsar) is described. Samples are loaded on a 96-well target plate, the movement of which is under software control and can be readily automated. Unlike conventional high-energy MALDI-TOF, the ions are produced with low energies (5-10 eV) in a region of relatively low vacuum (8 mTorr). Thus, they are cooled by extensive low-energy collisions before selection in the quadrupole mass analyzer (Q1), potentially giving a quasi-continuous ion beam ideally suited to the oaTOF used for mass analysis of the fragment ions, although ion yields from individual laser shots may vary widely. Ion dissociation is induced by collisions with argon in an rf-only quadrupole cell, giving typical low-energy CID spectra for protonated peptide ions. Ions separated in the oaTOF are registered by a four-anode detector and time-to-digital converter and accumulated in "bins" that are 625 ps wide. Peak shapes depend upon the number of ion counts in adjacent bins. As expected, the accuracy of mass measurement is shown to be dependent upon the number of ions recorded for a particular peak. With internal calibration, mass accuracy better than 10 ppm is attainable for peaks that contain sufficient ions to give well-defined Gaussian profiles. By virtue of its high resolution, capability for accurate mass measurements, and sensitivity in the low-femotomole range, this instrument is ideally suited to protein identification for proteomic applications by generation of peptide tags, manual sequence interpretation, identification of modifications such as phosphorylation, and protein structural elucidation. Unlike the multiply charged ions typical of electrospray ionization, the singly charged MALDI-generated peptide ions show a linear dependence of optimal collision energy upon molecular mass, which is advantageous for automated operation. It is shown that the novel pulsing technique of this instrument that increases the sensitivity for precursor ions scans is applicable to the identification of peptides labeled with isotope-coded affinity tags.

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Accession: 046631505

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11338583

DOI: 10.1021/ac0011080


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