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Linear and Differential Ion Mobility Separations of Middle-Down Proteoforms

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journal contribution
posted on 23.01.2018, 00:00 by Alyssa Garabedian, Matthew A. Baird, Jacob Porter, Kevin Jeanne Dit Fouque, Pavel V. Shliaha, Ole N. Jensen, Todd D. Williams, Francisco Fernandez-Lima, Alexandre A. Shvartsburg
Comprehensive characterization of proteomes comprising the same proteins with distinct post-translational modifications (PTMs) is a staggering challenge. Many such proteoforms are isomers (localization variants) that require separation followed by top-down or middle-down mass spectrometric analyses, but condensed-phase separations are ineffective in those size ranges. The variants for “middle-down” peptides were resolved by differential ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS), relying on the mobility increment at high electric fields, but not previously by linear IMS on the basis of absolute mobility. We now use complete histone tails with diverse PTMs on alternative sites to demonstrate that high-resolution linear IMS, here trapped IMS (TIMS), broadly resolves the variants of ∼50 residues in full or into binary mixtures quantifiable by tandem MS, largely thanks to orthogonal separations across charge states. Separations using traveling-wave (TWIMS) and/or involving various time scales and electrospray ionization source conditions are similar (with lower resolution for TWIMS), showing the transferability of results across linear IMS instruments. The linear IMS and FAIMS dimensions are substantially orthogonal, suggesting FAIMS/IMS/MS as a powerful platform for proteoform analyses.