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Anal Chem. 2010 May 15;82(10):3977-80. doi: 10.1021/ac100118u.

Effect of high-accuracy precursor masses on phosphopeptide identification from MS3 spectra.


This contribution investigates the impact of precursor ion accuracy on the number of phosphopeptides identified from neutral loss-triggered MS(3) spectra acquired on high-accuracy instruments. We show that replacing the MS(3) precursor (parent) ion mass by a highly accurate MS(2) precursor (grandparent) mass increases the number of identified phosphopeptides 3- to 5-fold. The number of unique phosphopeptides identified in addition to the MS(2) data increases from 6% to 24%. Our results illustrate that the sensitivity of phosphopeptide identification depends critically on the mass tolerance setting applied in the database search. This study demonstrates that MS(3) parent ion masses should always be substituted by high-accuracy grandparent ion masses and that error tolerance settings should be set as low as instrument accuracy permits to yield the best possible identification sensitivity.

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