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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2010 Nov 30;24(22):3303-8. doi: 10.1002/rcm.4773.

Atmospheric pressure-electron capture dissociation of peptides using a modified PhotoSpray ion source.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6T 1Z1.


An improved in-source atmospheric pressure-electron capture dissociation (AP-ECD) method is described. Building upon the early example of Laprévote's group, photoelectrons generated within a commercial PhotoSpray atmospheric pressure photoionization source are used to induce ECD of multiply charged peptide ions originating from an upstream heated nebulizer device. To attain high sensitivity, the method makes use of a novel electropneumatic-heated nebulizer to assist in the creation and transmission of multiply charged ions from sample solutions. Here, we demonstrate that readily interpretable AP-ECD spectra of infused peptides can be acquired from 100 fmol sample consumed, on a chromatographic time scale, using a conventional quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-ToF) mass spectrometer otherwise incapable of ECD/ETD experiments. Though much work remains to be done to develop and characterize the method, the results indicate that AP-ECD has the potential to be a practical new tool for the mass spectrometric analysis of peptides and proteins.

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