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Anal Chem. 2007 Dec 15;79(24):9547-56. Epub 2007 Nov 15.

Enabling MALDI-FTICR-MS/MS for high-performance proteomics through combination of infrared and collisional activation.

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Department of Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) is a central tool for proteomic analysis, yet the singly protonated tryptic peptide ions produced by MALDI are significantly more difficult to dissociate for tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) than the corresponding multiply protonated ions. In order to overcome this limitation, current proteomic approaches using MALDI-MS/MS involve high-energy collision-induced dissociation (CID). Unfortunately, the use of high-energy CID complicates product ion spectra with a significant proportion of irrelevant fragments while also reducing mass accuracy and mass resolution. In order to address the lack of a high-resolution, high mass accuracy MALDI-MS/MS platform for proteomics, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) and a recently developed MS/MS technique termed CIRCA (for combination of infrared and collisional activation) have been applied to proteomic analysis. Here, CIRCA is shown to be suitable for dissociating singly protonated tryptic peptides, providing greater sequence coverage than either CID or infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) alone. Furthermore, the CIRCA fragmentation spectra are of sufficient quality to allow protein identification based on the MS/MS spectra alone or in concert with the peptide mass fingerprint (PMF). This is accomplished without compromising mass accuracy or mass resolution. As a result, CIRCA serves to enable MALDI-FTICR-MS/MS for high-performance proteomics experiments.

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