Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Chromatogr A. 2009 May 1;1216(18):3767-73. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2009.02.059. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Peptide mapping with mobile phases of intermediate pH value using capillary reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry.

Author information

Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Green Chemistry, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.


This investigation describes the separation of tryptic peptides by capillary reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) with eluents in the intermediate pH range, followed by in-line electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) analysis. For these purposes, gradient elution procedures with an aqueous eluent containing 20 mM ammonium formate, and an increasing content of acetonitrile or methanol, were employed. Compared to the analysis of the same tryptic peptides under low-pH conditions with an ion-pairing reagent, the increase in the pH with the 20 mM ammonium formate mobile phase led to significant changes in both peptide retention to the reversed-phase column and the collision-induced dissociation at the MS/MS stage as a consequence of the changes in the physico-chemical properties of these peptides, such as their overall charge, polarity and relative hydrophobicity. Thus, improved selectivity for the peptide separation and favourable tandem mass spectrometry analysis could be obtained with eluents in this intermediate pH range. The number of tryptic peptides identified by the new approach for the proteins investigated were significantly higher than that obtained by the conventional low-pH methods. Moreover, analysis of protein digests at very low concentrations was also performed under both acidic and intermediate pH conditions and similar improvements in selectivity and MS/MS detection limits were observed, i.e. identification of more distinct peptides and higher sequence coverage of the protein was obtained when eluents of intermediate pH were employed. This study therefore highlights the potential of conducting peptide mapping in the intermediate pH range to achieve more reliable and sensitive protein identifications with capillary RP-HPLC-ESI-MS/MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center