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Anal Chem. 2009 Sep 15;81(18):7757-65. doi: 10.1021/ac901278y.

Dual-pressure linear ion trap mass spectrometer improving the analysis of complex protein mixtures.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific, San Jose, California 95134, USA.


The considerable progress in high-throughput proteomics analysis via liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry over the past decade has been fueled to a large degree by continuous improvements in instrumentation. High-throughput identification experiments are based on peptide sequencing and are largely accomplished through the use of tandem mass spectrometry, with ion trap and trap-based instruments having become broadly adopted analytical platforms. To satisfy increasingly demanding requirements for depth of characterization and throughput, we present a newly developed dual-pressure linear ion trap mass spectrometer (LTQ Velos) that features increased sensitivity, afforded by a new source design, and demonstrates practical cycle times 2 times shorter than that of an LTQ XL, while improving or maintaining spectral quality for MS/MS fragmentation spectra. These improvements resulted in a substantial increase in the detection and identification of both proteins and unique peptides from the complex proteome of Caenorhabditis elegans, as compared to existing platforms. The greatly increased ion flux into the mass spectrometer in combination with improved isolation of low-abundance precursor ions resulted in increased detection of low-abundance peptides. These improvements cumulatively resulted in a substantially greater penetration into the baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) proteome compared to LTQ XL. Alternatively, faster cycle times on the new instrument allowed for higher throughput for a given depth of proteome analysis, with more peptides and proteins identified in 60 min using an LTQ Velos than in 180 min using an LTQ XL. When mass analysis was carried out with resolution in excess of 25,000 full width at half-maximum (fwhm), it became possible to isotopically resolve a small intact protein and its fragments, opening possibilities for top down experiments.

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