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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2000;14(12):1047-57.

A tandem quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometer with a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization source: design and performance

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB R3T2N2, Canada.


A matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) source has been coupled to a tandem quadrupole/time-of-flight (QqTOF) mass spectrometer by means of a collisional damping interface. Mass resolving power of about 10,000 (FWHM) and accuracy in the range of 10 ppm are observed in both single-MS mode and MS/MS mode. Sub-femtomole sensitivity is obtained in single-MS mode, and a few femtomoles in MS/MS mode. Both peptide mass mapping and collision-induced dissociation (CID) analysis of tryptic peptides can be performed from the same MALDI target. Rapid spectral acquisition (a few seconds per spectrum) can be achieved in both modes, so high throughput protein identification is possible. Some information about fragmentation patterns was obtained from a study of the CID spectra of singly charged peptides from a tryptic digest of E. coli citrate synthase. Reasonably successful automatic sequence prediction (>90%) is possible from the CID spectra of singly charged peptides using the SCIEX Predict Sequence routine. Ion production at pressures near 1 Torr (rather than in vacuum) is found to give reduced metastable fragmentation, particularly for higher mass molecular ions.

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