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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2013 Nov;24(11):1676-89. doi: 10.1007/s13361-013-0606-0. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Cation recombination energy/coulomb repulsion effects in ETD/ECD as revealed by variation of charge per residue at fixed total charge.

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Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907-2084, USA.


Electron capture dissociation (ECD) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD) experiments in electrodynamic ion traps operated in the presence of a bath gas in the 1-10 mTorr range have been conducted on a common set of doubly protonated model peptides of the form X(AG)nX (X = lysine, arginine, or histidine, n = 1, 2, or 4). The partitioning of reaction products was measured using thermal electrons, anions of azobenzene, and anions of 1,3-dinitrobenzene as reagents. Variation of n alters the charge per residue of the peptide cation, which affects recombination energy. The ECD experiments showed that H-atom loss is greatest for the n = 1 peptides and decreases as n increases. Proton transfer in ETD, on the other hand, is expected to increase as charge per residue decreases (i.e., as n increases). These opposing tendencies were apparent in the data for the K(AG)nK peptides. H-atom loss appeared to be more prevalent in ECD than in ETD and is rationalized on the basis of either internal energy differences, differences in angular momentum transfer associated with the electron capture versus electron transfer processes, or a combination of the two. The histidine peptides showed the greatest extent of charge reduction without dissociation, the arginine peptides showed the greatest extent of side-chain cleavages, and the lysine peptides generally showed the greatest extent of partitioning into the c/z•-product ion channels. The fragmentation patterns for the complementary c- and z•-ions for ETD and ECD were found to be remarkably similar, particularly for the peptides with X = lysine.

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