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Parallel Accumulation–Serial Fragmentation (PASEF): Multiplying Sequencing Speed and Sensitivity by Synchronized Scans in a Trapped Ion Mobility Device

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posted on 2015-12-09, 06:50 authored by Florian Meier, Scarlet Beck, Niklas Grassl, Markus Lubeck, Melvin A. Park, Oliver Raether, Matthias Mann
In liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based proteomics, many precursors elute from the column simultaneously. In data-dependent analyses, these precursors are fragmented one at a time, whereas the others are discarded entirely. Here we employ trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) on an orthogonal quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) mass spectrometer to remove this limitation. In TIMS, all precursor ions are accumulated in parallel and released sequentially as a function of their ion mobility. Instead of selecting a single precursor mass with the quadrupole mass filter, we here implement synchronized scans in which the quadrupole is mass positioned with sub-millisecond switching times at the m/z values of appropriate precursors, such as those derived from a topN precursor list. We demonstrate serial selection and fragmentation of multiple precursors in single 50 ms TIMS scans. Parallel accumulation–serial fragmentation (PASEF) enables hundreds of MS/MS events per second at full sensitivity. Modeling the effect of such synchronized scans for shotgun proteomics, we estimate that about a 10-fold gain in sequencing speed should be achievable by PASEF without a decrease in sensitivity.

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