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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2005 Apr;16(4):463-70.

Improved mass accuracy for tandem mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4630, USA.


With the emergence of top-down proteomics, the ability to achieve high mass measurement accuracy on tandem MS/MS data will be beneficial for protein identification and characterization. (FT-ICR) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers are the ideal instruments to perform these experiments with their ability to provide high resolution and mass accuracy. A major limitation to mass measurement accuracy in FT-ICR instruments arises from the occurrence of space charge effects. These space charge effects shift the cyclotron frequency of the ions, which compromises the mass measurement accuracy. While several methods have been developed that correct these space charge effects, they have limitations when applied to MS/MS experiments. It has already been shown that additional information inherent in electrospray spectra can be used for improved mass measurement accuracy with the use of a computer algorithm called DeCAL (deconvolution of Coulombic affected linearity). This paper highlights a new application of the strategy for improved mass accuracy in tandem mass analysis. The results show a significant improvement in mass measurement accuracy on complex electron capture dissociation spectra of proteins. We also demonstrate how the improvement in mass accuracy can increase the confidence in protein identification from the fragment masses of proteins acquired in MS/MS experiments.

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