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J Mass Spectrom. 2003 Aug;38(8):809-16.

"Mass defect" tags for biomolecular mass spectrometry.

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Target Discovery, Inc., 4015 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA.


We present a new class of "mass defect" tags with utility in biomolecular mass spectrometry. These tags, incorporating element(s) with atomic numbers between 17 (Cl) and 77 (Ir), have a substantially different nuclear binding energy (mass defect) from the elements common to biomolecules. This mass defect yields a readily resolvable mass difference between tagged and untagged species in high-resolution mass spectrometers. We present the use of a subset of these tags in a new protein sequencing application. This sequencing technique has advantages over existing mass spectral protein identification methodologies: intact proteins are quickly sequenced and unambiguously identified using only an inexpensive, robust mass spectrometer. We discuss the potential broader utility of these tags for the sequencing of other biomolecules, differential display applications and combinatorial methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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