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An Automated Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Quadrupole Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer for “Bottom-Up” Proteomics

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journal contribution
posted on 03.06.2003, 00:00 by Ansgar Brock, David M. Horn, Eric C. Peters, Christopher M. Shaw, Christer Ericson, Qui T. Phung, Arthur R. Salomon
Here we describe a new quadrupole Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance hybrid mass spectrometer equipped with an intermediate-pressure MALDI ion source and demonstrate its suitability for “bottom-up” proteomics. The integration of a high-speed MALDI sample stage, a quadrupole analyzer, and a FT-ICR mass spectrometer together with a novel software user interface allows this instrument to perform high-throughput proteomics experiments. A set of linearly encoded stages allows subsecond positioning of any location on a mircotiter-sized target with up to 1536 samples with micrometer precision in the source focus of the ion optics. Such precise control enables internal calibration for high mass accuracy MS and MS/MS spectra using separate calibrant and analyte regions on the target plate, avoiding ion suppression effects that would result from the spiking of calibrants into the sample. An elongated open cylindrical analyzer cell with trap plates allows trapping of ions from 1000 to 5000 m/z without notable mass discrimination. The instrument is highly sensitive, detecting less than 50 amol of angiotensin II and neurotensin in a μLC MALDI MS run under standard experimental conditions. The automated tandem MS of a reversed-phase separated bovine serum albumin digest demonstrated a successful identification for 27 peptides covering 45% of the sequence. An automated tandem MS experiment of a reversed-phase separated yeast cytosolic protein digest resulted in 226 identified peptides corresponding to 111 different proteins from 799 MS/MS attempts. The benefits of accurate mass measurements for data validation for such experiments are discussed.