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Anal Chem. 2005 Sep 1;77(17):5662-9.

Electron-transfer ion/ion reactions of doubly protonated peptides: effect of elevated bath gas temperature.

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Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2084, USA.


In this study, the electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) behavior of cations derived from 27 different peptides (22 of which are tryptic peptides) has been studied in a 3D quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. Ion/ion reactions between peptide cations and nitrobenzene anions have been examined at both room temperature and in an elevated temperature bath gas environment to form ETD product ions. From the peptides studied, the ETD sequence coverage tends to be inversely related to peptide size. At room temperature, very high sequence coverage (approximately 100%) was observed for small peptides (< or =7 amino acids). For medium-sized peptides composed of 8-11 amino acids, the average sequence coverage was 46%. Larger peptides with 14 or more amino acids yielded an average sequence coverage of 23%. Elevated-temperature ETD provided increased sequence coverage over room-temperature experiments for the peptides of greater than 7 residues, giving an average of 67% for medium-sized peptides and 63% for larger peptides. Percent ETD, a measure of the extent of electron transfer, has also been calculated for the peptides and also shows an inverse relation with peptide size. Bath gas temperature does not have a consistent effect on percent ETD, however. For the tryptic peptides, fragmentation is localized at the ends of the peptides suggesting that the distribution of charge within the peptide may play an important role in determining fragmentation sites. A triply protonated peptide has also been studied and shows behavior similar to the doubly charged peptides. These preliminary results suggest that for a given charge state there is a maximum size for which high sequence coverage is obtained and that increasing the bath gas temperature can increase this maximum.

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